Before 2008, “the Napa Valley business model was humming along,” said Mario Zepponi, partner, Zepponi & Company. Consumers were buying high-end wines and vineyard values were setting new heights.
Then the recession hit, clobbering much of the industry. People stopped dining out and buying wine, Zepponi recalled. Those who did, drastically cut spending on higher end wines, he said.
“You were in a dead zone if you were trying to sell wine above $25 to $30 a bottle” via traditional distributors, Zepponi said.