I have been watching this trend for some time. Frankly I thought we wouldn’t get there until 2012, but it looks like 2010 was the year that Italy might have gone down to below a 50% share of the Pinot Grigio market, at least for Middle America
Here are the Pinot Grigio, by country, market-share stats as I have gathered from a swath of states reporting, from Texas on up through the Midwest:
- Italy: 49% (10% increase in case sales)
- California: 36% (18% increase in case sales)
- Australia: 9% (11% decrease in case sales)
- Texas: 3%, which is mainly California grapes sourced but bottled in Texas (5% increase in case sales)
- Oregon: 2% (57% increase in case sales)
- All others: 1%
Random notes: Italy has lost about 4% since 2008. Australia has lost 1% since 2009. California value brands are soaring (most notably, Barefoot).
Italian brands that are still strong, but challenged by the California surge are Bella Sera (doing well in larger size), Mezzacorona and Ecco Domani. Pricier Pinot Grigio’s (over $10 retail) are relatively flat.
So it’s still a hot category, but value wines still reign. But Italy’s day of Pinot Grigio dominance look like they are over. America, once again has assimilated something uniquely Italian, just like their people and their foods.