I have just spend close to 3 weeks traveling around North America – more specifically LA, Vancouver, NY, New Jersey and Memphis. Yes I did go to Graceland, and Beale street, and ate great BBQ!
Selling wine in the US is great becomes you get direct honest feedback. If people feel that they can sell your wine and make a couple of bucks, they will buy. One thing that struck me on this trip was how amazed people were with our Chardonnay.
I was often told – I don’t drink Chard, its too oaky, or I have too many Chards on my shelf, so why would I carry a South African one. Once they tried the Excelsior, they were invariably impressed and bought the wine.
We produce a very lightly oaked style (many asked if there is any oak in the wine) that has good acidity. More importantly, there is no malo-lactic fermentation done on the wine, which gives chardonnay those typically buttery flavours. Our flavour profile is lemony, and fresh. The wine definitely tastes like Chard, but we want the consumer to reach for a second (and even third) glass.
I believe the wine industry missed a trick by producing oceans full of those oaky, oily chardonnays, as the consumers have been totally turned off by them.