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The Wine Market Council says that millennials aged 21-38 have caught up with baby boomers as boomers’ wine consumption has begun to drop.

Millennials are now the largest demographic segment of the population at 79 million, just passing baby boomers aged 51-69, at 75 million.

Also, more than half the wine consumers are women, 56 percent, but 66 percent among frequent millennial drinkers.

Millennials already drive hot market segments such as sparkling wines (especially Prosecco), red wine blends, sweeter wines and new wines.

A Sage Mountain AVA?

Some of the best wines in Napa County come from Pritchard Hill above Sage Canyon but Chappellet owns the Pritchard Hill trademark so it can’t become an American Viticultural Area.

Tim Mondavi, who co-owns Continuum winery there, suggests calling the area Sage Mountain, and he has taken some steps to establish that name.

This would solve one of those nagging annoyances about local appellations.

Final report on 2015 crush

The National Agricultural Statistics Service’s final report on the 2015 crush in California was 3.87 million tons, down 7 percent from 4.14 million tons in 2014.

The average price of grapes in California dropped 10 percent to $671.31 per ton, but grapes from Napa County rose 6 percent to $4,336 per ton.

Meanwhile, U.S. wine exports hit $1.61 billion in 2015, up 8 percent in value and 4.1 percent in volume from the previous year to 51.2 million cases, according to the San Francisco-based Wine Institute.

In another sign of the growing interest among craft spirits and beers, Bank of the West’s Commercial Banking Group is expanding its wine group to include beer and spirits.

Adam Beak, who had managed the premium wine group that has issued more than $1 billion in loans over the past decade to more than 300 wine clients, will head up the new Wine & Beverage Group to work with beer and spirits producers as well as other beverage manufacturers.

Winery websites demoted

According to Mark Mattson of Cartonova, the favored developer of CANVAS (Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma), Google recently demoted 65 percent of wine country websites for failing to meet its optimization standards.

Many of those sites now appear on a search page that is difficult to find.

Find out more at (856) 889-0102.

Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition

The Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition will be held April 6 at Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga.

It is open to all California olive oil producers.

Categories include micro-producers (less than 100 gallons), larger producers, co-milled and infused flavored oils.

Olive oils and lab reports must be received by April 1.

Consumers can taste the winning oils at Celebrate Napa Valley! (formerly the Napa County Fair) on July 4.

Get details at napa.fairwire.com or 942-5111.

Business Journal Wine Conference

The annual Business Journal Wine Industry Conference will be held at Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa on Thursday, April 28 from 8 to 11:30 a.m.

The conference will focus on mergers and acquisitions and the move to diversify.

Panelists include Carol Collision of Global Wine Partners, Robert Nicholson of International Wine Associates, Pat Roney of Vintage Wine Estates, Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards, Derek Benham of Purple Wine+Spirits and Oren Lewin of WX.

Tickets are $95. For details, visit www.northbaybusinessjournal.com or contact Linda Perkins at linda.perkins@busjrnl.com or 521-5264.

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Contact Paul Franson at paul@paulfranson.com.

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