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Interview, Part Two: DFV’s Chris Indelicato

October 10, 2014

In this second part of our interview with Delicato Family Vineyards’ Chris Indelicato, the company president and CEO discusses influential trends affecting the U.S. wine market, including the evolution of increasingly wine-savvy consumers, the current pricing situation and the rising private-label wine segment.

SND: How is the current pricing environment, for your wines and the market in general?

Indelicato: The industry had a couple of back-to-back bountiful harvests and the results for consumers equate to quality and value. Overall, the total table wine category is growing dollars faster than volume, but we do expect to see pricing pressure if we have another large harvest in 2014.

SND: How have wine consumers evolved over the past 5-to-10 years, and what impact has this had on your business?

Indelicato: Today’s modern wine consumer is more savvy when compared to five and 10 years ago. They demand transparency and authenticity, and are less concerned with a gold medal than with where and how the wine was produced, how it’s involved with the community, is it sustainable and will it pair well with tonight’s dinner. As such, we haven’t had to change what we’re doing, but rather the visibility of information that matters to today’s consumer. On our Belle Ambiance label, for example, we’ve called out our family vineyards and sustainable credentials in response to the consumer’s desire for transparency.

SND: What are the most noticeable trends in today’s wine market, and how is DFV responding to them?

Indelicato: The trend on everyone’s radar that we don’t see subsiding anytime soon is the consumer’s penchant toward soft, round and approachable red blends. As evidenced by our portfolio, we’ve answered this consumer demand with recent category introductions within our Gnarly Head (Authentic Red), Noble Vines (1 Red Blend) and Handcraft Artisan Collection (Inspiration Red) brands, as well as the inclusion of a red blend within Belle Ambiance, which we believe is right in the Millennial demographic’s wheelhouse.

SND: How is your private label business doing?

Indelicato: Our private label business is very healthy, and 2014 will be a strong year for us. The biggest advantage of private label is being able to provide the trade with proven innovation and quality, as well as national brands. From a vineyard and winemaking perspective, it also gives us negotiation power to secure superior vineyard sourcing and invest in winemaking technology driven by a larger base of business. One of our main goals is to stay relevant with the trade, and they have a growing appetite for private label.


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