Technological advances and evolving market changes have helped put Texas on the radar for its wine production capabilities. Previously hindered by the area’s short harvest period and its unique production timeline, the state is making an impact in the wine market with the 2018 harvest producing 38% more than 2017.
Historically having a short harvest period that set Texas Vineyards behind, a shift in both wine demand and production methods has helped sustain a healthy harvest cycle for the state in recent years. Now celebrating their annual grape harvest in the summer months of July – that’s four months ahead of growers in the ever-popular Napa region – the state has had one of their most successful seasons and is predicted to keep growing stronger.
With the market developing a growing taste for wine blends including varietals that have a shorter hang cycle, the state’s businesses are reducing their loss caused by those blends such as cabernet sauvignon that require much lengthier dry times. “Paired with advances in winemaking technologies, midwest wine producers are able to maximize efficiency and production costs helping them compete better inside and outside of their local markets.” shares Texas based award-winning wine collector Marcus Hiles.
Outside support to these state-run growers from commercial organizations has also helped them serve the market faster while ramping up production. One big contributor to the Texas wine industry comes from grocery store giant Whole Foods, now owned by Amazon.
No longer selling wine on the Amazon ecommerce platform, Whole Foods has developed new on-demand, online services that make wine consumption easier and faster than ever. Introducing their latest one-day wine delivery service this year, the new consumption model has encouraged the national grocery chain to choose local suppliers who can fill demand quickly over competitors across the country that have long dominated the industry. This focus on pushing the region’s local wine businesses has helped supplement Texas growers and their need to turn over product quickly helping yield greater profits and reduce loss.
So what else is in the cards for regional markets such as Texas in this new industry wave for wine? As local markets such as that of Texas make their place into the wine business, other changes are causing fluctuations on a national and international level.
One of the biggest factors pushing change in the industry is the expanding market of millenials that now makes up the majority of consumers across today’s industries. Different than their baby boomer predecessors, this younger demographics are creating a shuffle in the traditional wine market by straying away from an importance on origin, brand and exclusivity and putting more value on availability and convenience.
Reviewed earlier this year in the 2018 State of Wine Report, the study highlights changes in the type of consumer experience these younger markets are after. No longer focused around location-based operations, the new model is moving towards direct-to-consumer services – and it has opened up a whole new segment in the industry. Much like Amazon and Wholefoods new one-day wine delivery model, other services such as monthly subscriptions, personalized blends ordered via app or online wine purchases have focused in on the buying experience becoming more about convenience and accessibility.
Quoted in an article earlier this year covering the 2018 report, Marcus Hiles shares, “Successful wineries 10 years from now will be those that adapted to different consumer with different values. Successful companies will be those that evolve retail strategies away from the winery location as the sole point of experience and add other, scalable means of delivering the experience — and the wine — to consumers where they live.”
Coupled with the technological improvements and new market demographics, this new consumer importance on quicker convenience helps put players in the Texas wine business ahead and on the track towards making a permanent impact on the industry in the years to come.