Local and American-made wines are facing stiff competition as outside vendors from across the globe are beginning to outsell the United States not only by the bottle, but by age group as well.
While local wineries have sprung up dramatically over the past 20 years, they are still trying to figure out just how to market to younger generations of wine drinkers who seem to have a tendency to purchase wines from Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
But Lodi's Ricardo Kanakari — host of the web television show "Wine Nation TV" — is hoping to change that.
"Lodi is unprecedented in terms of winery growth," he said. "But wineries are facing competition from the globalization of the wine market and the fact that the younger generations are not being marketed to as well as they probably should."
Kanakari said statistics show people between the ages of 18 and 49 are the majority of wine drinkers, but marketing from American and local wineries tend to target consumers ages 51 and above.
Fruitier wines and labels that are "bolder" and "more out there" are just some of the ways wineries locally and across the country could improve sales, he said.
Moscato, a fruity-flavored wine manufactured by Sutter Home, was was considered to be the worst product on the market two years ago.
Now, Kanakari said Moscato is flying off the shelves and will probably surpass Sutter Home's most popular product, its White Zinfandel, by the end of 2011.
Kankari said he believed a majority of wineries are afraid to look past traditional marketing methods, such as television ads, and make the leap to social media forums such as Facebook or Twitter.
But some wineries, such as Hahn Family Wines, are not scared to aggressively market or to create eye-grabbing wine labels.
The company, which recently set up shop in Lodi, is known for its ability to use social media to lure in customers of all ages, particularly the coveted 18 to 49 age range.
The company's Cycles Gladiator label has become popular with "the millenials" age group.
It has also been banned in Alabama after state officials found the nude nymph logo to be "pornographic," marketing director Philip Woodrow said.
The company, based out of Soledad, has moved to Lodi because it is "the last undiscovered Appalachia," Woodrow added.
"There is huge opportunity here," he said. "There is a movement here that we want to be a part of. (Lodi) isn't necessarily thought of as the 'go-to' place, but I would bet you it soon will be."
Kanakari is also betting that business will boom in Lodi, especially once his internet show moves from weekly to daily programs starting in September.
Initially, he said he plans to focus solely on Lodi wineries in hopes that he can draw local consumers' attention to options right in front of them.
By highlighting Lodi's wineries, Lodi residents can reorient their wine purchases to be from local vendors rather than from international vendors.
"We want people to think long and hard about where they are buying their wine from," he said. "The more people get excited about local wineries, the more business that brings back to Lodi, which is great."
Lodi's Abundance Vineyards is hoping to help Kanakari promote local purchases amongst Lodi residents.
A sponsor of Kanakari's web show, Abundance Vineyards is looking forward to bringing in more customers even though the winery is already "doing well," according to Silvia Salas, an employee of the winery.
Salas said the winery primarily sells to local restaurants, from Pietro's to Thai Spices Restaurant, all in Lodi.
"We want to keep things going locally, but still expand our product to other areas as well," she said. "We want to help push the market."
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.