In a previous post, I put up a new Grape Data Tool tutorial video explaining how to use the tool to evaluate Cabernet Sauvignon prices by percentile. The tutorial focused on Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma and Napa Counties. In previous blog posts, I shared some findings on Mendocino County Cabernet Sauvignon and Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon. This post will look at the economics of District 3 (Sonomarin) Cabernet Sauvignon pricing by percentile level.
Note: I refer to District 3 as “Sonoma County” for simplicity’s sake, but roughly 0.5% of the district’s grapes come from Marin County.
More Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon was sold at $1,500 than at any other price. Curiously, this is also the lowest price paid for Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and represented between 8-9% of all Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon sales. I would guess that these are related-party sales.
Unlike Lake and Mendocino Counties, Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon prices are mostly sold through indexed contracts (roughly 55%). This likely indicates that more of the market is locked up in long-term contracts.
Prices climb steadily through the percentile levels until the 80th percentile, when the rate of price escalation through percentiles starts to accelerate. Similar to Mendocino County, a buyer needs to spend an extra $1,500 to buy 99th percentile grapes, instead of 98th percentile ($6,500 vs. $5,000).
Unlike in Mendocino and Lake Counties, higher-end grapes have been able to consistently increase their price differentiation, in relation to average prices. Not only are the most expensive grapes just that, they have also shown greater price growth.
To view the chart, you may want to zoom in and/or switch to Google Chrome, which displays my blog better than Firefox, or you can pull up a quality copy here.