Vinitaly report: Wine market trends in USA

Three questions help interpret the wine market in major and emerging consumer countries, three questions help explain how winemaking in changing in the light of evolution in consumer preferences and even climate change. Vinitaly posed six questions to the journalists and oenologists – among the most famous and qualified in the world – selected as members of the jury of the 20th International Wine Competition scheduled 12-16 November in Verona.This series of interviews is an excellent opportunity for comparisons involving wines and markets. It is published on the website of the event (, where everyone is welcome to add their own comments and experiences.

The first focus is on the United States, with the responses from journalists Antonio Cevola, Charlie Arturaola and Marisa D’Vari. In coming weeks, journalists and oenologists from Europe, Asian and Latin America will also have their say.

The American market is described as growing but differentiated depending on the area and age-group of consumers. A constantly evolving market that is significantly different to what it was 25 years ago yet equally quite unlike the scenario we will see in 10 years’ time.

In the South-West, and Texas in particular, “Moscato and Malbec are very fashionable,” says Cevola, “as well as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Nero not aged in wood, following the influence of people arriving for economic reasons from North-East and Pacific States, as well as from Latin America”.

“Today more than ever before,” explains Charlie Arturaola, “consumers are very attentive to quality-price ratios and this is an advantage for Italian wines in Florida, as well as in New York and New Jersey and even Vancouver in Western Canada. Importers are expanding the offering of ‘minor’ DOC wines, as well as wines from Sicily, Campania, Puglia, Marche, Sardinia and Calabria involving lesser-known varieties”.

Product education is important, especially with regard to the fastest-growing consumer segment: the so-called ‘millennians’ aged 21-30 years. These young people “are open to any style of wine,” says Marisa D’Vari, “and while being very aware of price factors are nevertheless influenced by the choices of friends and ‘stories’, articles by experts on the Internet, especially those posted on social media”.


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