Small wineries not in danger

Monday, 1 November, 2004
Peg Melnik, The Press Democrat
With increasing corporate ownership, family-owned wineries still have a niche.

Who owns Wine Country?
That's the question that comes to mind when big corporations stun the wine world with colossal deals. The most recent, of course, is Constellation Brands' $1.3 billion offer to purchase the embattled Robert Mondavi Corp.
The answer to the question depends on what geographical patch of Wine Country you're talking about.
If you're asking who runs the wine business in the San Joaquin Valley or Fresno, the answer is big corporations, each of which produces more than 1 million cases a year, according to Vic Motto, a Napa Valley-based wine analyst. But, Motto said, if you're asking who runs the business in Napa Valley and Sonoma County, the general answer is medium to small wineries producing fewer than 1 million cases a year.
And, he said, in actuality most of these wineries are producing fewer than 100,000 cases, with many producing fewer than 25,000 cases.

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