Hi, I’m Matthew Gerard from Grand Cru, Australia’s leading provider of wine enjoyment solutions. As the year and decade draws to a close, new opportunities for appreciation and innovation are emerging in the world of wine. The millennial market is driving significant change in the viticulture industry, and an increased desire for convenience and environmental sustainability is encouraging wineries to keep up with their penchant for experimentation. However, the Baby Boomer and Gen X crowd is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to shaping and establishing wine trends.
2019 has seen the emergence of many wine trends, ranging from interactive labels that put a creative spin on wine marketing to the ‘wine in a can’ phenomenon. Interest in biodynamic wines and winemaking processes has skyrocketed over the past couple of years, in line with the organic movement taking over the food and beverage industry. Cava, the Spanish iteration of champagne, has also seen a boost of popularity this year, as has Pinot Grigio – consumers have been swapping their usual Sauvignon Blanc for this fresh and crisp Italian white.
So, what does a new decade have in store for us in the world of wine? These are my wine trend predictions for 2020.
Time for lesser-known wine regions to shine
When we consider the world’s most popular wine regions, our thoughts tend to wander to the vineyards of Bordeaux, Tuscany and California. However, I expect some of the world’s lesser-known wine countries to develop a significant following in the new year. Sicily has emerged as a genuine wine destination, with Etna and its surrounding regions gathering an almost cult-like following due to its lip-smacking red wines. South Africa, with its reputation for producing high-quality whites, will also be popular with wine lovers, as will the Margaret River region in Western Australia – the area is renowned for producing cabernet and chardonnay that is on par with those from Bordeaux, but sold at a fraction of the price. Keep an eye out on the wine regions found in Slovenia and Croatia too.
Sustainable winemaking is key
With organic wine on the rise and environmental consciousness at the forefront of our minds, biodynamic winemaking is proving popular in this era of eco friendliness. Producing wine with as little damage as possible to the environment is being embraced by winemakers around the globe, and many vineyards are choosing to forego synthetics and chemicals during the grape growing process. While the organic wine market is yet to truly flourish, expect to see a heightened interest in these biodynamic varietals as the world becomes more attuned to the effects of climate change.
Alternative packaging will continue to grow
In the viticulture industry, 2019 could well go down as the year of ‘wine in a can’. Many wineries catered to millennial’s desire for convenience and ditched the bottle, instead releasing their wine in cans for maximum on-the-go enjoyment. Expect to see more of the same in 2020, as wineries aim to make their wine as accessible as possible so it can be enjoyed in a number of settings. Who knows what we’ll be drinking wine out of next!
Tech will take over the vineyard
Technology is already being utilised by wineries around the world, with many embracing innovative equipment to monitor their vines. Drones are used to analyse crops and monitor the spread of infection or disease, allowing vineyard managers to diagnose and isolate the problem straight away rather than relying on human labour to identify the issue. Expect increased automation in the winemaking process, from picking to bottling and everything in between.
It’s all-wine on social media
Businesses around the world have adopted Instagram marketing to sell their products and services, and the viticulture industry is no different. Today, many wineries have Instagram and Facebook profiles that allow them to connect with audiences while promoting what they do. In 2020, I expect to see wineries taking their social media presence to a whole new level – think interactive posts and eye-catching videos, inspired by the marketing campaigns of Jordan Winery in California. Influencer marketing has also emerged as a bonda fide advertising tactic, so expect to see everyone from YouTube stars to Instagram models spruiking wine brands that geared towards the millennial market.
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