2010 is going to be watershed year for many reasons.
Jen and I are moving to Southern California (Pasadena / Altadena area). Jen got a great job with American Realty Advisors. Given the economy, we would be crazy not to jump on the job offer. So, I am getting the house ready for sale or as Jen aptly named it “blandizing” the house. We love bright and bold colors in the house. Our realtor said the house is beautiful (should be in Architectural Digest or Sunset Magazine) but will not appeal to the widest possible market of home buyers. I understand the realtor’s point but it is a bit frustrating.
Winemaking has very similar parallel — do you produce high-end, small lot wines for an intensionally small segment of the wine buying public or do you produce cost-effective reasonable quality wine that we appeal to the masses? This is a question that I have been thinking about quite a bit. Our move is forcing me to re-evaluate where we produce wine and what type of product do we produce. The economic downturn has been very hard on us — we are in the worst hit price segment. The practical side of me says that we should be looking for the lowest possible production costs that result in an nice and easy quaffing wine at a price point of around $15/bottle retail; I have seen that you can sell wine like that to restaurants for the “By the Glass” program easily yet a wine that is $20/bottle can effectively only be sold for the wine list or to a retailer. Yet, if I am going through all the hard work, I want to produce the best possible wine that I can. You can say that by producing the lower end wine that I would be selling out artistically and economically. I would still be in business while a large number of small-lot, high-end wine producers are going out of business. Any thoughts from you on the subject?
I also am researching new custom crush facilities down in the Southern California (LA, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Santa Maria). If anyone has any suggestions for custom crush facilities, please let me know. As part of the custom crush research, I am debating on what varietals to produce. I am leaning toward Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and maybe a rose of Syrah / Sangiovese. Cabernet Sauvignon could be possible if the price point would be below $20/bottle. I do love Syrah but selling it is quite difficult given the cost of good quality grapes.
Oh well, the facts will drive the decision. If you have any input on any of these topics, please add a comment or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.