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June 8, 2022

Reflections on the Journey: 2 years & 100 episodes of XChateau

Reflections on the Journey: 2 years & 100 episodes of XChateau

Robert and Peter reflect on how the wine industry has changed, the major themes that have popped up in the show, and some of the lessons they have learned in the process.


After two years and over 100 episodes of XChateau, Robert and Peter reflect on how the wine industry has changed, the major themes that have popped up in the show, and some of the lessons they have learned in the process. From the changes to social media, the spectrum of fine wine to everyday wines, and the importance of social issues, XChateau has covered a broad array of critical business topics for the wine industry. Supporters on Patreon get access to the entire library of content and episodes. 


Detailed Show Notes:

Social media is changing rapidly

  • The rise of TikTok (in the last 6 months - late 2021 and early 2022 - for wine)
  • Platforms are overlapping (e.g., Instagram’s Reels and IGTV)
  • YouTube is still the place for high production value
  • More than pictures now, a lot more interactivity and video -> creates a higher barrier of entry for influencers
  • Wine video improving - more than the historic Gary V, Wine Library YouTube; e.g., WineKing, Andre Mack (Bon Appetit), Konstantin (MW in Germany)
  • SommTV is paid streaming vs. advertising backed by social media (which can be tricky with alcohol), but SommTV doesn’t have the social element and interaction

CellarTracker is now expanding after over a decade, building on the community, expanding what was one of the first freemium models

XChateau covered a broad spectrum of the wine world

  • High end - ARENI research on fine wine consumers, wine auctions, wine investing, counterfeits
  • Everyday wines - 19 Crimes (A/R, celebrities), FitVine (clean, good for you wine trends), Hammeken Cellars (crafting everyday wines)
  • Wine investment - was hot, unclear future with the macroeconomic environment changing (higher interest rates, inflation, war in Ukraine); Burgundy still doing well currently, primarily due to limited supply
  • Grocery wine has seen significant shifts - re-opening has moved wine back to restaurants from grocery, will a potential recession increase grocery wine from fine wine retail? 

Evolution of the wine critic was a popular series - guests (e.g., William Kelly, Jeb Dunnuck, Esther Mobley) were very candid and open

Social issues were an important topic - diversity, gender equality, climate change

  • Diversity and inclusion is a potential pathway to bridge the gap in the wine industry from a smaller Gen X cohort
  • Things like Tablas Creek’s $95 bag-in-a-box wine as a solution for environmental impact

Topics to tackle next: 

  • Global wine markets and trends
  • Different business models (e.g., co-ops, custom crush facilities)
  • Understanding the wine buying journey of collectors and wine consumers


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