8 Wine Trends Predicted for 2017 - What the Experts Say

wine trends-country lane

I’m always fascinated by what the experts predict about wine trends.  When I was in software development, I was amazed at some of these future technology predictions.  Most of the time these predictions were way off or dead wrong. But sometimes they were right on.  And the same holds true for wine.

Here are 8 wine predictions from Wine Folly who reached out to two wine experts (Jonathan ReeveWine-Searcher.com and Mike VesethWineEconomist.com) to explain their data-driven research and transpose it into a wine crystal ball.

Wine Trends Predicted for 2017

1. Cannonau will boom

“Health-miracle” Cannonau growth is expected to increase demand significantly. Wine-Searcher data shows consistent, 50% growth over the past couple of years

What the heck is Cannonau?  Guess what? It is a fancier name for Grenache (or Garnacha).  “Health-miracle”?  All red wines provide tremendous health benefits.  According to Medical Daily, Red Wine Burns Fat And Lowers Blood Pressure, and has 5 Other Health Benefits For Wine drinkers:

  1. Memory Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease - Antioxidant resveratrol does this.
  2. Mimics Gym Time - Resveratrol. They go on to say it's limited. Darn!
  3. Cancer Treatment - Antioxidant quercetin does this. But researchers aren’t exactly sure how, it induces natural cell death in certain types of cancers, specifically colon cancer.
  4. Promotes Long Life - Red wine drinkers have a 34% lower mortality rate than vodka or beer drinkers. What about tequila drinkers?!  Tequila’s got to lower the mortality rate in some of us, who get happy when drinking it.
  5. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke - Red wine tannins contain procyanidins, which is known to protect against heart disease.

Now back to Cannonau Grenache.  Did you know that Grenache is the 7th most planted grape in the world?  So, of course, they’d want to push Grenache.  There’s a lot of it.

2. Riesling will tank

Riesling has plateaued and is going down in demand.

riesling grapesRiesling Grape

No way!  Riesling, in my opinion, is the wine new wine drinkers, i.e., millennials will first gravitate to, when starting off on their wine journey, and most will love it for the rest of their life.  Also, consider how much Riesling vineyards are planting in the US. The Riesling acreage has grown over the last ten years in California to over 4,000 acres, and Monterey County is the big leader with 1,651 acres. And according to San Francisco Chronicle, California Riesling’s is rising in popularity and quality. Trust me Riesling will not tank.

3. Donald Trump drives diversity

Donald Trump’s politics will stimulate diversification in U.S. wine production.

What are they talking about?  One of the wine trends? How will Trump’s politics stimulate “diversification in U.S. wine production.” The writer never really explains this, and I’m not going to touch it.

4. Box wine done right

Box wine in 2017 will finally arrive, and not before. Wine in a box has proven its worth as a wine container in the wine trade.

Right on!  Of these wine trends, this one I agree with big time.  Box wine will become acceptable in the next five years with a lot of us.  I’ll have no problem turning the box spout on from my favorite Cabernet Sauvignon.  Look at screw caps in the past. People almost hated them.  Screw caps are far superior to cork, but not as romantic.

5.  A strong dollar makes imported wine cheaper

Foreign wine producers are aiming at the $10 to $15 and $15 to $25 wine segments. The dollar’s strength will give them a big advantage at these price segments, which will create unwanted competition for U.S. producers.

Yes, I can see how this may prove a thorn for U.S. wine producers.  Even though California, Oregon and Washington wines are ranked great on the world stage, competition will be good for us wine drinkers.  I’m biased on U.S. wine prices; I believe most U.S. wines are over priced.

6. More French wine!

French wines prices have been rising in the U.S. in this past year, and the strength of dollar helps this trend continue by offsetting the effects of the poor 2016 harvest in many regions.

All I have to say, remember the 1976 Judgment of Paris!  To use a sports analogy, the underdog won the Super Bowl.

7. More South Africa, New Zealand and Chile wines in the US

They claim this is a fallout of Brexit.  Brexit will reduce U.K. wine sales and inspire international producers to shift their export prominence toward the growing U.S. market. Look for South Africa, New Zealand, and Chile to give U.S. sales increased attention as the year progresses.

Well, let's say that of Chancellor George Osborne’s 19 dire predictions of Brexit, only two came to pass.  On the other hand, I love Chilean wines and who can pass up a great New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? Hey, and what about Argentina? Argentina ‘Saved’ Malbec!

8. 2017 will be a good year to be a wine consumer in the U.S.

All the imports predicted will provide even more diversity for wine drinkers while competition helps prevent wine price increases.

This sounds great! I truly believe one can get a premium wine at the $10 to $15 price range talked about in prediction #5. Drink up!


Randall Farrar
Randall Farrar

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