This is a more current listing of the largest wine companies in America updated from our prior listing (Blog 5/4/12). Why? For the same reason I track the competition between grocery store chains. It is competition on a scale above and beyond my station in the business and it is really a camera angle on America in action. Big business calls the shots in this game and the players advance with all of the ruthlessness and finesse of a major league pitcher throwing a baseball 93 miles an hour with movement and precisely hitting the corners of the plate, all of which factors in to the consternation of the disadvantaged hitter. More often than not I feel like that hitter, but I still remain in awe of the game.
If you google the name of any of the companies listed below, you can see all of the mass marketed labels they control, which overall is basically everything in the chain stores. An asterisk notes privately held companies which I think signifies competitive strength at this level.
1. E&J Gallo Winery*-66 million cases sold domestically, 76 million globally annnually.
2. Constellation Brands-59 million domestically, 112 million globally.
3. The Wine Group-44 million.
4. Bronco Wine Company- 20 million.
5. Foster's Wine Estates-20 mil, 44 mil.
6. Trinchero Family Estates*-11 mil.
7. Brown-Forman Wines-5.5mil, 7mil.
8. Diageo- 5.5mil.
9. St. Michelle Wine Estates- 5.1mil.
10.Jackson Family Wines*-5mil.
11.F. Korbel & Bros-2.45mil.
12.Delicato Family Vineyards*-2mil.
13.Don Sebastiani & Sons-2mil.
14.C. Mondavi & Sons*-1.2mil.
16.J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines*-900,000.
17.The Coppola Companies*-900,000.
20.The Hess Collection-650,000.
22.San Antonio Winery*-500,000.
23.Purple Wine Company-470,000.
25.Wimbledon Wine Company-400,000.
26.Castle Rock Winery-400,000.
27.Rutherford Wine Company-350,000.
28.Wente Vineyards-300,000; 400,000.
29.585 Wine Partners-340,000.
Observations: Most all of the companies above just move up or down a notch or two from the previous list. Certain prominant properties have been taken over by the top thirty, most notably, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars (by St. Michelle) and Hahn (by Wimbledon). Emphases on organic and sustainable farming and private labeling have impacted the list with longtime members offering new products and new list members entering the list because of these kinds of offerings.
Marketing, of course, is key to selling wine on this scale. One company on the list is there purely for their marketing ability. The inaptly named Castle Rock Winery, which owns no winemaking facilities or vineyards and solely relies on bulk purchases and rented winery space.
This Friday (5-7pm) we will be tasting 667 Pinot Noir from #12 Delicato, Uno Argentine Malbec, Pedroncelli Sonoma Zinfandel, Raymond R Collection Field Blend, a couple Italian reds and somehow we will have to work in some whites! Please join us.