Several years back I remember reading an article that stated that 50% of wineries would change hands by 2017. Because so many were owned by baby boomers who would look to retire, their wineries would either be sold or passed down to someone in the family within this time frame, signaling one of the largest shift in our business in a long time.
I've always found our little valley to be a bit insulated from the greater world. When I was growing up here, any trend in America's youth took just a year or so longer to hit the metropolis of Boonville (yes, I pegged my pants and wore many pairs of stirrup pants). Even things on a global scale like the recent recession took longer to hit us here, but we also took longer to recover from it. It's a delayed reaction, but it always hits, and it seems lately that this trend of change in the wine business has finally hit Anderson Valley.
With wineries closing like Standish and Berridge, and those for sale like Claudia Springs & Esterlina, it seems like there is certainly change afoot. However, you can always rest assured that while some go away, some will be opening up. With Roederer's new still wine project and Baxter's new tasting room, there will be new representation on the valley floor. It will certainly be a slightly different landscape in the next few years, and we'll be sad to see some of our friends go. The rest of us? Well, we'll keep chugging along as we always do.