Its official. The urban winery movement is hot. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are all over it. But, we know its true because we here at VineCrowd are at the epicenter of the urban wine movement (aka. the East Bay area of CA). So much so that we have our own support group, the East Bay Vinters Alliance (which actually calls the movement a ‘revolution’), a collection of nineteen ‘innovative, urban wineries spanning from Alameda to North Berkeley, and producing some of the highest quality wine in the world… [and] prides itself in being the ‘the cutting edge pioneers of modern age winemaking.'”
Just this morning the LA Times published the results of the Nation’s Restaurant News’ top 20 restaurant trends for 2011. According to the Nation’s Restaurant Association which polled 1,527 chef members of the American Culinary Federation about what they expected to trend up in 2011, urban wineries fit into at least three categories :
#5. “Hyper local,” such as restaurants with their own gardens and chefs who do their own butchering.
#9. Simplicity/back to basics
#12. Locally produced wine and beer
Urbanization remains one of the absolute mega trends for the coming decade….How will this change the consumer arena in 2011 and beyond? Firstly, urban consumers tend to be more daring, more liberal, more tolerant, more experienced, more prone to trying out new products and services…Catering to city-citizens in these vast urban entities requires a local, dedicated approach in products, services and campaigns…To cut a long story short: In 2011, go for products, services, experiences or campaigns that tailor to the very specific (and often more refined, more experienced) needs of urbanites worldwide…And don’t forget to infuse them with a heavy dose of ‘URBAN PRIDE’. From Smirnoff’s Absolut Cities to BMW’s Megacity vehicle, urban is the way to go.
So, while urban wineries may not be taking over the industry (yet), we are thrilled to be part of the revolution that puts wineries next to where we live. As Adam Nelson, a founder of Two Mile Wines in Berkeley says:
In the end, [wine is] an agricultural product. It’s food. It’s not a about social status — it’s about society — coming together to eat food and drink wine made by people we know. So we put a winery next to the people drinking it, and invited everyone to participate. To un-distance. To get their hands dirty and have a conversation which isn’t about some distant dream-life but instead about enjoying where we are right this very moment with our friends and family and food.
Photo courtesy of Two Mile Wines.