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Cheaper wine, same vineyards

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High Five
Friday, June 25, 2010

Oregon's wine industry is in "freefall," and wineries are looking for the solution to recover their profits.

One solution—a likely one—will have wineries adapting their business around producing cheaper wine, to reach the $7-a-bottle "sweet spot."

Joe Dobbes, who produces wine at several different price points, recently addressed his own supply problem by signing a contract with retail giant Trader Joe's. The deal puts his wine, under an exclusive Trader Joe's label, into some 300 stores in 35 different markets nationally. It retails for between $6 and $7 per bottle.

While his higher-end wines still get the special treatment that drives up prices, such as hand-sorting every cluster and keeping crop loads at a spendy two tons per acre, he's keeping costs of his Trader Joe's offering down by increasing crop loads, buying less expensive bulk juice and slicing packaging costs.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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