A summer survey, conducted by the Luxury Institute, asked 1,771 wealthy Americans with an average income of $351,000 and average net worth of $4.3 million to rate wine and liquor brands based on quality, uniqueness and exclusivity. Check out the CNBC slideshow to see which brands came out on top. The institute offers a variety of articles on luxury-related topics. Here is a list of its 2008 articles, but you can read back to 2005.
By Lisa Palladino.
This idea either sounds like torture or like a good way to avoid a DUI…unless of course you can’t steer the handlebars after a day’s worth of tasting…is that called a RUI?? Getaway Adventures offers a fantastic, car-less way to explore the valleys of Napa or Sonoma via a bicycle (or kayak if you prefer a more refreshing option).
Whether you are looking for just a day-trip, corporate/group event or weekend excursion I doubt you will be disappointed. A spread of local foods is provided for lunch, stops at a myriad of local wineries is included, and local tour guides will expand your knowledge of flora, fauna, and vineyard as you ride.
Don’t expect a strenuous adventure — it is geared toward the ‘enthusiastic beginner’ as they put it so don’t worry if you aren’t Lance Armstrong.
Vacation…wine tasting…exercise all in one? Perfect.
Tours are available from March 1st to November 30th.
By Laura Malesich.
Rising fuel prices have some curious and wide-ranging consequences. The Financial Times reports it may be making your Champagne bottles thinner. Champagne bottles traditionally weigh more than a bottle of still wine in order to contain the pressure of sparkling wine. Bottles used to be smashed against ship bows for launching are thinned for easy breakage. But thinner bottles take less energy to create and are cheaper to ship.
G.H Mumm, the Champagne house owned by Pernod Ricard has completed a trial production run of bottle which weigh 835 grams (around 1.84 pounds which is a couple of ounces lighter than regular bottles which are 900 grams). The lighter bottles will be put in caves where the bottles will age.
The lighter bottles will save money on fuel because more of them can be loaded on each truck. Pommery, which already uses the bottles, says that if all the Champagne houses switched to lighter bottles there would be 3,000 fewer trucks on the road each year.
By Deidre Woollard.
Bloggers and wine bloggers in particular have become among the most powerful voices in America when it comes to discovering new places, new ideas and to defining the trends and conversations, says Tim Zahner, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau.
Read the full story.
Seth Godin points out this really entertaining video. It is a parody of what can happen if too many people get involved in design decisions. If you find yourself in the middle of a "design by committee" custom label project have everyone watch this video. It is a good reminder that if you want to make an impact often simple is better.
By Peter Renton.
Toupie is a range of French wines from Bordeaux with very unique packaging.
By Andrew Gibbs.
Exquisite packaging! I love the hand labelling details and the use of metal and glass together. I am unsure who is responsible for the design, if you know, please comment. Wine designers can benchmark their designs against this one!
By Andrew Gibbs.
Beaujolais Nouveau in plastic bottles? Boisset Family Estates has announced in a press release that next season’s Beaujolais Nouveau wines from the wineries of Mommessin and Bouchard Aîné & Fils shipped to the U.S. will be packaged in 750ml PET bottles. They will also be debuting Fog Mountain, the first California wine in 750ml PET bottles.
Boisset Family Estates is the first winery ever to announce that all Beaujolais Nouveau wines imported to North America will be packaged exclusively in lightweight PET plastic bottles. The company estimates they will save millions of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere. The Beaujolais Nouveau wines in PET bottles weigh 22 lbs per case vs. 38 pounds for the traditional bottle. Boisset expects their Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau and Bouchard Aîné & Fils Beaujolais Nouveau to retail for $12.99 which is a dollar or two less than they would have charged. The shatterproof bottle will have a screwcap.
Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be drunk immediately so there are no concerns as to how the wine might age in platic. Boisset’s other interesting packaging initiatives includes wine in Tetra Pak cartons and Mommessin Beaujolais Grande Reserve in 750 ml aluminum bottles.
By Deidre Woollard.
Burning Hawk sounds like a bit of a poetic name for a wine until you learn that the name comes from a hawk which hit a power line and caused a fire in a vineyard. Burning Hawk Wine gives ten percent of sales to groups working to prevent bird electrocutions.
The wine is produced by Windsor Vineyards and will offer two $30-a-bottle wines. The Burning Hawk 2005 Napa Valley Red Wine is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Merlot from the Napa Valley and the 2006 Burning Hawk Chardonnay, Alexander Valley is a buttery Chardonnay with tropical fruit and vanilla oak notes.
The organizations that will get the proceeds haven’t been chosen yet but according to an article in the Press-Democrat the label’s founder Nick Papadopoulos has been speaking with groups around the country to see if they can prevent birds from being killed through electrocution or collisions with power equipment. Windsor Vineyards produced 2,000 cases of each wine.
By Deidre Woollard.
In partnership with the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, Deloitte conducts an annual financial benchmarking survey which provides the wine industry with data which to benchmark performance.
The results can assist winemakers to make more informed decisions about their relative strengths and weaknesses compared with others in the industry. The study also provides winemakers with an insight into he relative efficiency and financial performance of their business – information which is vital for those looking to attract venture capital, expand and sustain growth.
Survey questionnaires were sent to approximately 2,200 wineries across Australia. Surprisingly the response rate was poor, and only 54 wineries responded. However Deloitte points out that these 54 represent approximately 60% of the revenues of the Australian wine industry.
Download the 2007 Deloitte Benchmarking Survey.