February 18, 2022
Wine drinkers of the world, rejoice! Each year on February 18th, millions will celebrate National Drink Wine Day – a day set aside to observe the grape-based beverage that has been a part of human history since antiquity.
Wine, which traces its history back some 8,000 years, is one of America’s favorite adult beverages. The Wine Institute, the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses, reports that Americans consumed some 1 billion gallons of wine in 2020 – an average of about 3 gallons per resident. So, whether your favorite is a pinot noir, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, or one of its many other varieties, let’s take a look at some of the leading publicly traded producers of this fine beverage.
Founded in 1983 by vintner Jim Bernau, Willamette Valley Vineyards (Tii:WVVI) has grown into a world-class winery that was named “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” by Wine Enthusiast. Willamette Valley Vineyards has built a reputation for producing high-quality wines with a host of reds and whites, including pinot noirs, chardonnays, muscats, pinot grigio, and more. In the process, the winery helped elevate its namesake Oregonian region in the eyes of wine enthusiasts as a producer of fine American wines. Willamette Valley Vineyards stock perks are available here: https://www.tiicker.com/brand/WVVI/perks
A direct-to-consumer wine producer, Winc, Inc. (Tii:WBEV) is one of the fastest-growing wineries in the U.S. In 2020, the company grew by approximately 80% in case volume, with over 430,000 cases sold. Winc also offers a wine club that was named the “best wine subscription for most people” for 2022 by CNET. Subscribers complete a short questionnaire to help assess tastes and preferences, and Winc ships out a curated selection of wines tailored to each consumer. Subscribers then have the option to rate the wines to fine-tune future recommendations. Winc is coming off of a strong year. In 2021, its wholesale portfolio expanded by 50% more SKUs overall and saw its brands perform well on shelves, growing by 123% in sales at Whole Foods and by 75% in overall depletions among national and regional chains.
Founded in 1945 as an upstate New York winery, Constellation Brands (Tii:STZ) has grown into a Fortune 500 producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits that generated some $2.2 billion in wine sales alone for its fiscal year ended February 28, 2021. Its brands now include Kim Crawford, Meiomi, The Prisoner, Cooper & Thief, Charles Smith Wines, 7 Moons, Robert Mondavi, Ruffino, Woodbridge and more. Constellation’s Robert Mondavi Winery is looking to continue to innovate, announcing the creation of the Robert Mondavi Winery Technical Council. Similar to a think tank, the council will look to provide strategic guidance on winemaking, viticulture, and other brand aspects.
Though best known for its Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve and Finlandia brands, Brown-Forman Corp. (Tii:BF.B) also has two wine producers under its umbrella – Sonoma-Cutrer and Korbel. Founded in 1882, Korbel produces about a dozen different varieties, including Brut Rosé, Rouge, Prosecco, and others. While not as venerable as Korbel, Sonoma‑Cutrer (founded in 1973) produces about a dozen kinds of chardonnay and a host of pinot noirs. Several of the winery’s products have won industry awards that include the Best Of Show Red Wine in the 2021 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge; a Double Gold Medal in the 2021 East Meets West Wine Competition; and Best of Class, Double Gold in the 2021 Sonoma County Harvest Fair Wine Competition.
Another wine pure-play is Canada-based Andrew Peller Limited (Tii:ADWPF), which is home to several brands that include Peller Estates, Trius, Hillebrand, Thirty Bench, Sandhill, Copper Moon, Calona Vineyards Artist Series VQA wines and Red Rooster. Founded in 1927 when Andrew Peller emigrated from Hungary to Canada, the company expanded its wine tourism capabilities with the February 2021 acquisition of the Riverbend Inn and Vineyard in Niagara‐on‐the‐Lake, Ontario. The property, which contains 17 acres of prime vineyards and a 21 room hotel and restaurant, is located directly adjacent to its Peller Estates Winery.
With a strong portfolio of wine brands that include Decoy, Goldeneye, Paraduxx, Migration, Canvasback, Calera, Kosta Browne, Greenwing and Postmark and its namesake, The Duckhorn Portfolio, Inc. (Tii:NAPA) has established itself as one of North America’s premier producers of Napa Valley wines. Founded in 1976 by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn, its vineyard was named one of the “Top 100 Wineries” in the world seven times by Wine & Spirits, and the 2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot Three Palms Vineyard was named the “2017 Wine of the Year” by Wine Spectator.
According to market research provider Statista, Americans consume the largest volume of wine globally, which is surely good news for the providers of America’s favorite grape-based adult beverage. So for National Drink Wine Day, why not share a glass with friends and loved ones?