I'm a bit behind on my wine reading, so this story is a little old, published as it was a couple of weeks ago, but I can't let it go without comment. W. Blake Gray does a dig into the history of Yellow Tail wines, which, in case you hadn't noticed, was the most insanely popular, top selling wine In America for the last couple of years. What came as a total shock to me, was the fact that this little brand started off basically as a father and son operation in Australia. I'm as guilty as the next wine lover for using Yellow Tail as an example of industrial wine made by corporate giants, but it appears I'm mistaken. At least about the corporate giants part of the equation -- the winery still maintains operations in the small town in which it was founded, making it the town's largest employer.
The cool thing about this story, is that it demonstrates the complexity of the wine business world in a way that some of the recent wine-related polemics have not. Everyone likes to paint the globalization of wine as a struggle between the big corporate giants or the moneyed elite and the small artisan winemakers of the world. I've said time and time again that it isn't that simple, and the Yellow Tail story proves my point. They're the best selling wine in North America by volume, but that's only because people really like it. How can you call this company that has been outrageously successful because it makes a good product that people want to buy (even without advertising for the first couple of years) a corporate monster? You simply can't.
I may choose not to drink the stuff if I can avoid it, but I have a newfound appreciation for the brand, beyond my grudging amazement at its popularity. Read the full story.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Plumbing the Depths of Portugal: A Tasting Journey Vinography Images: Rain at Last The Mysterious Art of Selling Direct Critical Consolidation in Wine What Has California Got Against Wineries? Dirty Money for a Legendary Brand Vinography Images: Tendrils Highlights from Tasting Champagne with the Masters Off to Portugal for a Drink Vinography Images: Hazy Afternoon
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy