Friday, June 13, 2008

Billionaire's Vinegar 2nd Edition

And so the saga continues. As reported in Decanter, there is new evidence in the Jefferson bottles case. One of the main characters in the book is William Koch, a Florida billionaire, and he claims to have new evidence that will once and for all prove Hardy Rodenstock's guilt.
So perhaps Benjamin Wallace will have to consider writing a revised edition of his book. Since the film rights to the book have been optioned, the continuation of this story will make for an even more exciting movie. It will be fascinating to see who will play Michael Broadbent and who will be the actress taking on the role of Jancis Robinson.
Speaking of billions, the news that Foster's in Australia is considering shedding its wine division has investors and growers worrying and wondering. Foster's spent $6.8 billion getting into the wine business by acquiring Beringer Wine Estates and Southcorp Ltd. in the US. Flagging world wide beer sales triggered this expansion. Wine sales continue to increase world wide. Here in Canada, and we are a beer drinking nation, wine sales have increased yearly and beer sales are down according to Statistics Canada.
So it seems to me rather counter productive to sell off a potentially lucrative business. Another eyebrow raiser is the sale by the world's largest wine producer, Constellation Brands, of 5 well-known California brands, two Washington state and one Idaho winery. A strong Euro and increased wine consumption in the US has benefited American wineries. Again another puzzling corporate decision. So if you don't like the company that owns your favorite winery, wait a month or two, it is likely to change hands soon. Billions of dollars at play. In the meantime I will just continue to enjoy my daily fruit of the vine and since I am leaving for a week of visiting wineries in California, I am sure to be tasting my way through some fabulous examples. My camera and I are ready.


Carl Brown said...

Hi Wilf -

The sale of wineries seems sensible...

As we talked about before -- look at all the competition!! It's overwhelming when I look at all the wine labels, I can't pick! How can you compete, unless you are the Budweiser of wine?

Growing, aging for years, shipping, marketing... All for $5-20/bottle. When consumers pay upwards of $2 for 'water bottles'. It's got to be a tough market for wineries.

I'm glad to see the wine industry growing. More choice, better growers, and better prices!

Yet, still... I find I gravitate to 2-3 brands because I'm a wimp and don't wont to uncork something terrible.

Wilf G.K said...

Carl, you are right,you are right. you are right. Still I look at wine as one of nature's greatest gifts and it should bring peace,happiness and some degree of tranquility to those involved.I have seen first hand how unsettling the conglomerates' buying and selling of wineries can be.I have a wine newsletter that goes to a mostly local readership and I rarely review a wine from one of the multinationals but instead concentrate on the family run and owned wineries. They put their heart and soul into their wines and I love to support them. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.