Parker’s predictions – just blue sky thinking?

Robert M. Parker, Jr., the world’s foremost wine guru, makes 12 bold predictions in about major changes that he believes will influence the wine world of the future. In Bordeaux, Mr. Parker is both feared and loved, supported and detested. But his style, his tasting analyses and approach have changed wine. This week, we thought we would take a quick look at those 12 scenario megatrend predictions and see how we might be placed in the future world of wine.

1 Distribution will be revolutionized Parker predicts a change from as many as 3 steps in the wine distribution process to 2 or one. We are the producer, we will be the exporter and importer and we will sell direct in Australia to retailers, restaurants and probably private clients as well. The new world is already here for us.

2 The wine Web will go mainstream Social media is part of the so-called “thank you” economy. It is core to our marketing strategy and the main method of reaching out and connecting with our consuming clients. It’s hard for us now to imagine an alternative way. And yes, we are being approached by a number of private clients in Australia (and elsewhere) who would like to buy directly from us. So an on line sales portal on our website and Facebook is under consideration.

3 World bidding wars will begin for top wines The world’s best wine is fast becoming a luxury goods item. We want our wines to be appreciated and enjoyed for what they are. A rising top end price creates a good space for really good wines to prosper. That’s where we want to place ourselves.

4 France will feel a squeeze The top 5% of France’s great wines are already realizing astronomical prices. The higher volume lower quality market is already in distress. We don’t want to go there. Quality not Quantity will always remain our slogan.

5 Corks will come out Our recent experience with technical corks for the 2010 #Cloud9 show us that (finally) the cork manufacturing industry is changing. Our fans have indicated a preference for cork and we will respect that so long as wine quality is not impaired.

6 Spain will be the star We live close by? Who knows…one day….but not a dream at this time!

7 Malbec will make it big The possible replanting of small parcels of traditional varietals is definitely something on our radar and fits nicely with our organic hand crafted business model. Malbec – popular in the Cahors region of SW France and most recently in Argentina – has plenty of advantages also as the climate continues to warm. This might make a useful minor blend component in the #CabMerlot from Hourcat Centre? Or could we imagine making a 100% #Malbec to sit alongside our 100% varietal #CabFranc?

8 California’s Central Coast will rule America This sounds like an internal American battle, that we can leave there for them to fight out!

9 Southern Italy will ascend Although the return of the Roman Empire is not predicted, springtime travel sounds like it will be getting better every year.

10 Unoaked wine will find a wider audience The biggest enemy of oaked wine has been “overoaked” wine! Maturation in oak barrels should give richness, a softer fuller flavor but above all, integrate and enhance the character of the wine. When it dominates – as has often been the case over the last two decades, you might as well chew on the tree and forget the wine. In Australia we are seeing the re-emergence of some really great unoaked Chardonnays again. When used wisely by the winemaker, the results are great – wait until you taste the 2010 #Cloud9!

11 Value will be added Our research shows that increasing demand from the growing wealth of India and China will continue the process of valuing wine as a drink of preference with food across the globe. Quality, originality and value for money will count even more. We will continue to aim high.

12 Diversity will be the word We look forward to this. We are very comfortable with developing a brand and wine that is unique, special and valuable whilst maintaining all the essential elements of good traditional winemaking.

In summary, we believe that our strategy of creating something unique and focusing on Quality rather than Quantity looks well placed to handle the medium term future. And we are planning to be around to find out – please join us. Thank you for your support and encouragement.