Dear California Vintner:
With the myriad of wine competitions out there, it is difficult to figure out which one to submit to, especially given the struggles in the economy and limited supplies of wines. In our ongoing effort to provide the maximum benefit for entering wineries, this year’s edition of the San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Wine Competition is really three different competitions in one! Each wine will be tasted and judged by three distinct panels, representing key demographics of the existing wine buying, and the potential wine buying public. These three panels, made up of Wine Professionals, Hispanic Americans, and members of the Millennial generation, respectively, will be a definitive test on where your wines stack up in the marketplace of taste.
According to the latest Census findings, Hispanics are the fastest growing part of the United States, and California particularly is seeing this population inch towards 40%; nationally, they make up the largest and strongest minority group. Here in Fresno, with a population over 1 million people, 47-51% are Hispanic. This growing market demographic has long been neglected by our Industry, and now it is time to see how they taste wine so that we can be sure that we are positioning California wines for future success in the every-changing market. This is your chance to get valuable market information about your wines, for pennies compared to direct market research, which could cost your winery thousands of dollars, per year, per product. Adding credibility in this endeavor, we have partnered this year with the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Industry talking heads have been hammering home how important Millennials are to the wine consuming future. As we try to position our wines to appeal to the next generation, have we taken the time to ask them the simple question, “do you like what you taste?” Given current market research, Millennials are going for what they like, and not for what they are “supposed” to like. If you could find out what a broad spectrum of the emerging wine buying public thought of your wine, wouldn’t you? Knowing what tomorrow’s public wants in a wine, with irrefutable evidence, surely alleviates apprehension when deciding what today’s vintage should taste like upon release.
This 2014 San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Wine Competition is about much more than awarding medals; it is focused on finding out what the emerging markets want from our Industry. If we don’t listen to the fastest growing market segments in American society – our global competition surely will – to the direct detriment of California, our industry, and your business.
Help yourself by entering this year’s competition. It’s really three competitions in one, for one low price. Unlike other competitions, we have both direct consumer information, and noted classical wine experts to keep things honest. But in reality, we can brag all day long about any expert likening our wines, but will that one expert buy enough to grow your business?
As always, good luck and we look forward to your entries as we eagerly await our opportunity to see the best bottles from California’s soils!