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Retailers Weigh In On One Of Wine’s Growth Segments: Sauvignon Blanc

September 9, 2022

With an approachable flavor profile and a strong price-value equation, Sauvignon Blanc has increasingly become a go-to white wine for many consumers, and retailers are stoking that enthusiasm. “Sauvignon Blanc is our No. 3 white wine segment, with Chardonnays from around the globe dominating and Italian Pinot Grigio showing strong sales due to a more affordable price point,” says Mat Dinsmore, owner of Wilbur’s Total Beverage in Fort Collins, Colorado. “Sauvignon Blanc has a very long runway for growth, although pricing pressures have the possibility of slowing the category. Only time will tell.”

According to Impact Databank, the total U.S. market for Sauvignon Blanc reached 16.4 million cases last year, up from 12.5 million cases in 2015. Imported bottlings are up 40% over that timeframe, while domestic Sauvignon Blancs have advanced by about 26%.

Daniel Mesznik, owner of McCabes Wine & Spirits in Manhattan, also sees a buoyant future for Sauvignon Blanc, and says retailers have an important role to play. “It’s incumbent on retailers like us to introduce and educate guests to Sauvignon Blanc from beyond the normal regions, such as New Zealand and Sancerre, where there is great value and more supply,” he says.

The supply chain, however, continues to present hurdles. “Imports are the biggest challenge, and price increases create a challenge as customers start trading down in price points,” Dinsmore says. “We are struggling with out-of-stocks, delays, and price increases, which have the possibility of slowing some categories. Supply from California seems steady, although New Zealand and France are a bit harder.”

“The biggest challenge comes from Sancerre. It’s a struggle to keep continuity of stock,” adds Mesznik. “We’re looking elsewhere in the Loire Valley—Quincy, Menetou-Salon, Touraine. The opportunity is to both introduce guests to Sauvignon Blanc from regions other than Sancerre and also potentially save them a few bucks. The value and juice can be tremendous.” Market Watch has more.

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