This is the first in a series of blog posts where I’m asking pretty simple questions about aspects of our wine industry that may or may not be known to the general public – and if it helps determine whether or not you will purchase specific wines.
Kosta Browne is a winery that was started by a couple of servers at a restaurant who combined their tips to purchase grapes for their first wine. Their brand garnered early critical acclaim and the original shareholders ‘cashed out’ a part of their equity by selling off to a smallish investment company a few years back. The cash infusion allowed them to build their own winemaking facility, among other things. Now, this investment company has ‘cashed out’ and sold its share to another investment company.
Why am I telling you this story? Well – there are many that feel that since the original owners have received all of this money and they have new investors aboard, the natural direction will be to grow bigger and probably charge more for their wines. And the feeling is that as you grow bigger, you cannot hold onto the quality you are able to achieve when you are smaller.
This really got me thinking about winery ownership and whether or not that does or should impact your support of a winery or willingness to purchase those wines. I think most would agree that you would not support a winery owner that was, say, a murderer or something similar.
Would you support a winery owned by Billionaires? Or one that has an association with a large pharmaceutical or agricultural conglomerate? Or does if just not matter?
And what about if you didn’t know but found out later – would that change your opinion about the wine and purchasing again?
The reality is that many wineries in the US are owned by larger corporations or investment companies, some of which are ‘wine oriented’ and some of which are not. Others were started an are owned by multi-millionaires that made their money elsewhere and decided to get into the wine biz.
Does this or should this affect your support of such a winery?
I’m listening . . .