The wine shipments going out of Lodi's Woodbridge Winery on Feb. 14 were a first of their kind. The 3,500 cases were off to Brazil, marking the debut of Lodi wines in this large South American country, which drinks relatively little wine.
Lodi's wine business community has increasingly sought trade partners with foreign countries, especially such rapidly growing markets as China and Hong Kong. Lodi vintners and business leaders have recently hosted multiple delegations from China to seek trade partners, hoping that Lodi can help satisfy the global demand for California wine.
Brazil, however, would be considered a growing niche market. According to the Wine Institute, a San Francisco-based trade organization for California's wine industry, wine consumption in Brazil is a paltry 1.8 liters of wine per capita. That accounts for about 40,000 cases of wine shipped to Brazil annually a tiny drop in the 47.2 million cases exported worldwide from the United States in 2012.
Industry observers speculate that Brazil's hosting of the World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympics might boost these numbers. Either way, new trade partners for Lodi's wine region are especially welcome.
"Brazil's economy has captured the attention of a lot of people and agricultural commodities, including wine," said Frank Gayaldo, a Lodi-based international business consultant who specializes in California agriculture. "We think (Brazil) is an another example of these emerging markets becoming increasingly important."
Gayaldo is also eyeing Korea as an especially hot market for Lodi wine. Shipments of California wine were up 26 percent in 2012 over the previous year, according to the Wine Institute. A free-trade agreement signed in March 2012 between the United States and Korea has been viewed as a plus for Lodi's wine trade.
"The challenge is there's so much opportunity and minimal time," said Gayaldo. "I was super-excited to see those shipments go over to Brazil. China's my own personal focus, Korea's on my radar and Brazil's a market we should be paying attention to."
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Chris Macias
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.