Silicon Valley Bank Forecasts 7 to 11% Growth in U.S. Fine Wine Sales

Company news  |  April 17, 2012

Annual State of the Wine Industry Reports Increasing Retail Bottle Pricing


ST. HELENA, Calif. –– April 17, 2012 — Silicon Valley Bank, a leading provider of commercial banking services to the wine industry, released its Annual State of the Wine Industry Report for 2012-2013 today. The report captures trends and addresses critical issues facing the U.S. wine industry, offering unique data and observations that help wine business owners and managers think critically about their strategies.

Key findings and predictions:

• Long-term steady growth in the fine wine business is expected; 7-11% sales growth in 2012
• Wine inventories evolving into a state of shortage that will last for some time domestically
• Increasing prices for grapes and bulk juice as growers finally start to see recovery
• Increasing plantings to feed the looming grape shortage
• Imports taking larger market share in the U.S.
• Bottle price increases, but not a return to prices prior to the recession
• Increasing difficulty for third-party marketers that have sold with a culture of discounting
• Functional evolution of digital solutions, creating a ‘Fifth Column' sales channel
• Millennials as a fine wine consumers are over-valued in their importance today

Based on its in-house expertise, ongoing research and a survey of nearly 500 wineries, Silicon Valley Bank continues to believe the fine wine segment is at the beginning of a long-term, steady growth phase, despite current and potential headwinds.

"We believe we are quickly trending to a position that has not yet been experienced in the business: supply will be structurally short for an extended period in all production winery sizes, demand will continue to grow at a little slower pace post-recovery, imports will take a larger share of total domestic sales and make larger inroads into the lower priced wine categories," said Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Bank's Wine Division and author of the report. "The biggest obstacles to growth and profitability for wine businesses over the next several years will be finding supply at the right price and quality for a given program. The function of selling wine will now be on par with managing costs, and will become the dominant competitive issue over the next several years."

McMillan discussed the report and the state of the industry live with Paul Mabray of VinTank and Tony Correia of The Correia Company at an online event today. A replay of the discussion will be available here by April 20, 2012.

To be added to Silicon Valley Bank's report distribution list, contact the author, Rob McMillan or @SVBWine.

About Silicon Valley Bank's Wine Division
Silicon Valley Bank is the premier commercial bank for emerging, growth and mature companies in the technology, life science, private equity and premium wine industries. Its Wine Division specializes in commercial banking for premium wineries and vineyards and the industries that support them. SVB has the largest team of commercial bankers dedicated to the wine industry of any bank nationwide. Founded in 1994, SVB's Wine Division has offices in Napa and Sonoma counties and serves clients in the fine wine producing regions of California, Oregon and Washington. By virtue of its dedication to the wine industry, Silicon Valley Bank is able to support its clients consistently through economic and growth cycles, and offer guidance on many aspects of their business, beyond traditional banking services. Silicon Valley Bank is a member of global financial services firm SVB Financial Group (Nasdaq: SIVB). More information on the company can be found at

Silicon Valley Bank is the California bank subsidiary and the commercial banking operation of SVB Financial Group. Banking services are provided by Silicon Valley Bank, a member of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve. SVB Financial Group is also a member of the Federal Reserve.