In the US Barefoot claims to be the top-selling wine in the under-$15 category selling 13 still and six sparkling wines. (It began selling the sparklers in 1999 in preparation for what many believed would be a Champagne shortage come the Millennium.)
It’s Pinot Grigio claims market leadership in the Californian Pinot Grigio category in the US and the top-selling New World Pinot Grigio in the UK, says Barefoot’s Winemaker Jen Wall who was over in Dublin recently hosting a tasting lunch at the Dylan Hotel as the last stop in her “five countries in five days” tour of Europe.
Jen, the most awarded winemaker in the US with over 2,500 medals, added that the Pinot Grigio also experiences some the biggest repeat-purchase rates of any US wine brand.
She’s received the outstanding rating of Double Gold, Best of Class and 98 points at the California State Fair for her California Chardonnay and was awarded the Best of Show award at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience.
Barefoot Merlot is the best-selling red wine from the Barefoot stable while Moscato (launched in 2007) is its top-seller overall and showing considerable promise to date.
Barefoot Wines has sold 4.1 million cases YTD in the US of which over 10 per cent – over 500,000 cases – have been exported to the EU. It was introduced to Ireland in 2010.
Barefoot’s steps can be traced back to the 60s when bohemian Americans Michael Houlihan and partner Bonnie Harvey started a ‘garage wine’. In 1986 they really stepped up to what Barefoot was about and relaunched the brand. Over the years, the wines have garnered numerous accolades and professional awards along with a growing circle of loyal fans who love to enjoy the wine and who have joined in Barefoot’s ethical spirit of giving back to the communities around the world.
The brand is making its mark in Ireland in 2012 taking part in popular events such as Taste of Dublin and the music festival Sea Sessions in Bundoran, Co Donegal. At Sea Sessions Barefoot Wine will be supporting some of Ireland’s most talented musicians and giving festival-goers a chance to sample as well as buy some of Barefoot’s most popular Summer wines.
While in screwcap format here, it’s sold under cork in the US which is a harder market to convert, explained Jen.