SOURCE: Stonebridge Research

Stonebridge Research

June 07, 2012 12:38 ET

Stonebridge Research Group's Fine Wine Trade Monitor Report Released Today

Report Shares Insights on How U.S. Fine Wine Market Can Shape Effective Wine Sales and Marketing Programs

ST. HELENA, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 7, 2012) - Stonebridge Research Group, a leading source of data and analysis for the wine industry, today released the Stonebridge Fine Wine Trade Monitor Report 2011-2012. The annual report tracks key trends and their impacts in segments of the fine wine market where almost no organized data are usually available, providing sales and marketing professionals with important insights that can keep programming on track for optimal sales results.

In compiling its comprehensive report, Stonebridge Research conducted in-depth interviews with 55 key decision makers in the fine wine trade in 16 major and secondary markets across the U.S. Distributors, independent retailers and on-premise wine directors were among the participants weighing in on which wines are being bought, sold and held in inventory; which wines are on the shelf and appearing on wine lists; and which sales tactics are proving most effective.

"The recession took a toll on the premium wine market, but the market is definitely coming back in several parts of the country," said Barbara Insel, president and CEO of Stonebridge Research Group. "Some markets have experienced sales growth of up to 20 percent. People are tired of feeling poor, so consumers with money are starting to spend again."

"What the fine wine market has lost is the aspirational segment," continued Insel. "Middle-class consumers trading up for the good life have not returned to buying fine wine. They are still being very careful -- generally buying at the low end and buying on sale."

Readers of the 2011-2012 report will learn which U.S. wine markets are growing, as well as which varietals, price segments and producing regions are experiencing resurgence and which are declining. For instance, cabernet is still driving high-end sales dollars, but there are some new red varietals demanding attention; among white wines, where brand loyalty is stronger, chardonnay is maintaining its position as a volume leader. There is much less experimentation in whites than in reds. Across the market, strong brands are moving at higher prices, but new and lesser-known wines are struggling. The study discusses major changes in the market (for example, the significant growth in retailer-direct imports from Europe) and analyzes their impact. The report also examines ways to discount and program in today's market and reveals which strategies are the most effective.

"All parts of the trade have made major changes in their operations to accommodate changing market conditions, with distributors making some of the most drastic adjustments. Although everyone is loosening up a bit, the trade is proceeding cautiously," concluded Insel.

The full Stonebridge Fine Wine Trade Monitor Report 2011-2012 may be purchased now from Stonebridge Research Group for $995 by calling 707-294-1430 or by contacting For more information, please visit

About Stonebridge Research
Stonebridge Research Group LLC is the leading source of data, analysis and business advisory services to the wine industry. The firm couples deep knowledge of all elements of the wine industry with decades of experience in global investment, economics and finance to collect and synthesize data across disciplines, sectors and industries to build an integrated picture that tells clients what is really occurring in their markets. In an industry lacking in public data and metrics, Stonebridge collects and verifies raw data, conducts complex analyses and employs the solid research methodology to ensure that insights and results are based on facts. Stonebridge's proven methodology and experience helps clients assess business practices and find effective ways to improve performance. For more information, visit

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