As warmer weather and sunny days propel us towards Vintage 2023, the bulk market is entering that quiet time when wineries and winemakers start focusing on harvest preparations. With over-harvest storage bills looming, many bulk wine producers are eager to move volume, creating an opportunity rich environment for the most capable bulk wine buyers. As supply is still relatively low, pricing has remained consistent with last year (more on both points below).
SLOWER SALES = BUYER OPPORTUNITIES
Some large California wineries report slower sales and smaller but more frequent distributor orders, resulting in them becoming less bullish on the bulk market; we've even seen some buyers become sellers. Removing some purchasing pressure from the available supply has put buyers in a stronger negotiating position, and in some cases, brought bulk wine pricing down from previous vintage highs.
FOR GRAPES AND WINE, IT’S ALL ABOUT LOCATION
Whether we’re working with grapes or bulk wine, the tightening market of buyer’s is putting more emphasis on premium sub-AVA’s and vineyards. As an example, while Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon is available from the greater region, most of the hillside blocks that winemakers prefer are fully-contracted. And while we have plenty of quality, coastal Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir available, inventory from the “namesake vineyards” is awfully tight.
DECISION TIME 2023
If you’re considering making bulk wine in 2023, our advice is the same as in previous years. Really good wine finds buyers, marginal wine languishes. With a potential normal-sized harvest coming down the pipeline, buyers will have their pick of bulk wines available after harvest. But it will take quality fruit and proactive winemaking to produce the wines that will solicit Buyers’ offers.
Recent Bulk Wine Sales:
2022 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon (truckload vol.) - $13 to $16 per gal
2022 Paso Robles Red Blenders (truckload vol.) - $12 to $15 per gal
2022 SBC Premium sub-AVAs Chardonnay - $15 to $19 per gal
Current Bulk Wine Opportunities:
Cabernet Sauvignon 2022 Paso Robles AVA
BDX Blenders 2022 Santa Ynez Valley AVA
Syrah 2022 Santa Barbara County and Paso Robles AVAs
Pinot Noir 2022 SBC and other Central Coast sub-AVAs
Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Central Coast AVA
Chardonnay 2022 Arroyo Seco AVA's
2023 CENTRAL COAST INSIGHTS
On March 26, Bozzano & Co. presented at Central Coast Insights (CCI) on the outlook of the Central Coast wine grape and bulk wine market after a short harvest in 2022.
If you missed it but are interested, click the HERE to see a PDF of the presentation.