Beyond the Grape – rising world of fruit wines

Beyond the grape! The wine world is seeing wonderful developments in the fruit wine industry and trends are moving beyond the grape, so to speak.

A little over a week ago, I had the opportunity to meet with the upper levels of the wine world and discuss trends in the industry. We all know that in the alcohol industry, craft beers and ciders are seeing exponential growth. Fruit wines in their various forms are also showing similar growth and this is now being noticed.

Speaking at WineVision in Bilbao, Spain
Speaking at WineVision in Bilbao, Spain

I was speaking at the Wine Vision conference in Bilbao, Spain to discuss the growing influence and importance of fruit wine within the overall wine industry and why we all need to start paying attention to this.

One of the points I expressed is that the fruit wine category in most markets is an untapped opportunity and producers have a hand in shaping the industry from the ground up.

The overall fruit wine category has gained in popularity so much that it has become mainstream in many markets, and in the markets that has not shown that level of acceptance yet, trends indicate that it will soon.

One of the things I stressed during the talk is that producers and distributors now have the opportunity to make fruit wines compelling or attractive to consumers that are now looking for something new, innovative and sustainable.

For us in the industry, as producers and marketers, we have to start thinking about being more flexible and adapt to this changing world. Wine production areas are now starting to think in terms of 100 year plans. Grapes may or may not grow in a particular area where grapes are now prevalent. That is the reality, so we have to prepare for this. Adaptability in agriculture and production and finding new, raw materials (fruit) that we can make quality wine with is something that the industry as a whole needs to starting thinking about. The forward thinking producers certainly are starting to do so.

The changes I have seen over the last 20 years are incredible. It’s wonderful to see changes in the industry and how much the perception of fruit wines has developed over the last couple of decades. As far as I am concerned, it is only the beginning. Consumer preference is changing extremely fast and perception of fruit wine is changing dramatically. This all translates to more innovation, more choice and exciting developments for all wine lovers, everywhere.

The presentation outlined the fruit wine industry, the changes, its challenges and the future of our favorite drink.

The audio quality is not the best, but you can also download or stream the audio presentation of December 11th, 2015 in Bilbao, Spain here:

Enjoy and I hope you all finishing off the year 2015 with a nice glass of fruit wine. We can all expect the year 2016 to be an exciting one!

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4 Comments

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  1. Hello.
    We run a small fruit winery south of Ottawa and have enjoy modest success.
    We recently began selling our cranberry wine in the LCBO with basic expectations.
    Imagine our surprise when we sold 24 cases in 7 weeks from one store.
    If the Government of Ontario would allow me to sell at farmers’ Markets as well, I could do it full time, but there is no doubt that the fruit wine market exists in Ontario.

  2. I fully agree with you. The market is there. We just somehow need to convince bureaucratic decision makers to see the plain facts and trends. All wines (including fruit wines) here in Nova Scotia can be sold in farmers markets and private stores. There is also a large fruit wine section in all government stores too here. I know its the same in many other provinces. Hopefully the province of Ontario will modernize soon and open the doors so to speak. This is what consumers want and demand these days. Keep me updated on your developments!

  3. Dominic in the Fruitwine Indiana presentation is a little glitch: “have your customer’s pallet and wishes in mind” I am almost certain that didn’t mean to say pallet (they don’t buy by the pallet) but palate.
    But I enjoyed the presentation immensely. We just started experimenting this past year with a tart cherry wine with mixing in some black currants. At the Quitelicious this past week where some Prince Edward Cnty wineries were represented, the tasting met with great approval. Still I think before we get into commercial production I think we would like to consult with you. We’ll get the book first. We have 3 acres of tart cherries (dark ones) in production and working on five more. Haskaps we will have two this year and planted 3 more, expanding to 10 eventually when the Boreal blizzard becomes more widely available. We have not been able to save enough haskaps for wine production. Customers keep cleaning us out

  4. Thanks for the comment and picking up that type-o! Yes, very open for consultation, contact me when ready. As for the book, I’ll have an updated version in a month or so, best to wait a bit if you can. Thanks!

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