It's never been a better time to be a wine enthusiast. With an ever-expanding volume of information at our fingertips, there are more opportunities to discover, acquire and enjoy a greater diversity of wines than ever before. However, even the savviest wine connoisseurs can find it challenging to stay on top of changes in the industry.

We spoke with the experts — buyers, collectors and sommeliers — to see what they felt would be 2018's most important trends in wine.

Extreme Weather Could Increase Demand for Older Vintages

In 2017, extreme weather events had a significant impact on wine crops around the world, leading to an estimated 8.2% drop in global output and the smallest vintage since 1961.1 Unexpected spring frosts battered grapes in the Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy regions of France, while summer's so-called “Lucifer" heat wave forced Italian wine growers to harvest their grapes early.2, 3 In California, catastrophic wildfires threatened vineyards and left some crops with a smoky taint, while Chilean growers struggled in the face of droughts.4

This could make certain wines from these regions scarcer in the coming years and lead to increased demand for back-catalog vintages. However, Madeline Triffon, Master Sommelier and Director of Events for Michigan-based grocer Plum Market, is less concerned about the impact of this year's California wildfires. She notes that prices for west coast wines are already quite high and unlikely to climb further as a result.

Collectors should be mindful of the long-term effects of a changing climate. For example, as global temperatures rise, alcohol levels in wine are likely to increase. “Looking to build up your cellar with older vintages of Bordeaux and Burgundy before alcohol levels start to rise is probably a smart move," says Wendy Stanford, Senior Buyer at

Back-catalog Bordeaux should be a good bet this year, particularly the 2009 and 2010 vintages, which were well received by wine enthusiasts and imported to the U.S. under a favorable exchange rate. Triffon sees similarities in the 2015 and 2016 vintages as well, considering the latter to be particularly age-worthy. Gregg Stephenson, Collector Concierge for, expects Bordeaux prices to ramp up when they arrive in the U.S. as futures for 2015 classified-growth Bordeaux have been extremely strong.

Seek Out Up-and-Coming Regions

Given the potential scarcity of in-demand wines from some of the world's most notable regions, it may be wise to consider alternatives.

Stanford notes that Argentinian wines can make a good substitute for Burgundy and California varietals, and recommends Catena's White Stones and White Bones chardonnays. The varietals are named for the complexion of their terroir: the former is made from grapes grown in soil peppered with limestone-coated river pebbles; the latter is from sandier soil layered with calcareous deposits that resemble bones.5

Stanford also recommends investigating wines from less-familiar locales, such as South Africa, New Zealand's Central Otago region, and Australia, particularly the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Margaret River regions. “[These regions] have a lot of the young, hipster winemakers working organically or biodynamically," she says. In particular, Stanford praises the Australian wines (such as Voyager Estate) for being “elegant" and “accessible," saying that she thinks they will prove to be collectible.

A New Generation of Vintner Emerges in Spain

“Spain is really undergoing a natural renaissance of quality," says Triffon. In 2017, Wine Advocate writer and winner of Spain's National Gastronomy Award for journalism Luis Gutierrez published The New Vignerons. The book profiles 14 of Spain's most interesting viñadores, representing a “new generation of Spanish wine growers."6 In it, Gutierrez shows how they are blending innovative new methods with traditional techniques in order to create uniquely Spanish wines.

Triffon says Spain offers significant value for wine enthusiasts, with the most expensive wines costing less than $200 a bottle. “A great example of that is Macán," she says, “which is a collaboration between Rothschild and Vega Sicilia — it doesn't get more highbrow than that. That's ultra-premium Spanish wine." Macán Clásico can be had for under $50 a bottle, while Macán hovers around $80 according to Triffon.

Take Care of Your Acquisitions

When purchasing and collecting wine, there are a few things you can do to ensure you and your family are able to enjoy it well into the future:

  • Keep a detailed inventory. Capture important details about your wines, such as where and from whom they were purchased and for how much. Keep invoices to document your acquisitions and the amount of tax that may have been paid.
  • Preserve the value of your collection. Take steps to safeguard your wine by making accommodations for proper long-term storage.
  • Don't forget your wine when planning. Your wine collection isn't just something you take pleasure in – it's also an asset. If you have a valuable collection, failing to take this into account when making decisions about your wealth and estate plans can have serious financial consequences.
  • Think about your legacy. If you aren't going to drink your entire collection, what do you want to happen to it when you're gone? Having a well-documented plan in place is essential to ensuring your wishes are carried out properly.
  • 1 "World's Smallest Wine Vintage Since 1961 May Lift Booze Prices," Bloomberg, Rudy Ruitenberg, October 24, 2017

    2 "Spring Freeze Damages French Wine Production," Reuters, April 28, 2017

    3 "Heat wave 'Lucifer' fans forest fires, forces early wine harvest," CBS News, August 8, 2017

    4 "Harvest Report: La Niña Delivers Frost and Flame to Argentina and Chile," Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, July 7 2017

    5 "White Stones and White Bones: terroir-based Chardonnays from Catena,", November 7, 2014, Accessed: January 22, 2018

    6 "Passion for Spanish Wine: A New Generation of Wine Growers,", Accessed: January 22, 2018

  • This white paper is the property of BNY Mellon and the information contained herein is confidential. This white paper, either in whole or in part, must not be reproduced or disclosed to others or used for purposes other than that for which it has been supplied without the prior written permission of BNY Mellon. This material is provided for illustrative/educational purposes only. This material is not intended to constitute legal, tax, investment or financial advice. Effort has been made to ensure that the material presented herein is accurate at the time of publication. However, this material is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area or of all of the tax, investment or financial options available. The information discussed herein may not be applicable to or appropriate for every investor and should be used only after consultation with professionals who have reviewed your specific situation. The Bank of New York Mellon, Hong Kong branch is an authorized institution within the meaning of the Banking Ordinance (Cap.155 of the Laws of Hong Kong) and a registered institution (CE No. AIG365) under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap.571 of the Laws of Hong Kong) carrying on Type 1 (dealing in securities), Type 4 (advising on securities) and Type 9 (asset management) regulated activities. The Bank of New York Mellon, DIFC Branch (the “Authorised Firm") is communicating these materials on behalf of The Bank of New York Mellon. The Bank of New York Mellon is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. This material is intended for Professional Clients only and no other person should act upon it. The Authorised Firm is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority and is located at Dubai International Financial Centre, The Exchange Building 5 North, Level 6, Room 601, P.O. Box 506723, Dubai, UAE. The Bank of New York Mellon is supervised and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve and authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. The Bank of New York Mellon London Branch is subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. The Bank of New York Mellon is incorporated with limited liability in the State of New York, USA. Head Office: 225 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10286, USA. In the U.K. a number of the services associated with BNY Mellon Wealth Management's Family Office Services– International are provided through The Bank of New York Mellon, London Branch, 160 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4LA. The London Branch is registered in England and Wales with FC No. 005522 and #BR000818. Investment management services are offered through BNY Mellon Investment Management EMEA Limited, BNY Mellon Centre, 160 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4LA, which is registered in England No. 1118580 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Offshore trust and administration services are through BNY Mellon Trust Company (Cayman) Ltd. This document is issued in the U.K. by The Bank of New York Mellon. In the United States the information provided within this document is for use by professional investors. This material is a financial promotion in the UK and EMEA. This material, and the statements contained herein, are not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any products (including financial products) or services or to participate in any particular strategy mentioned and should not be construed as such. BNY Mellon Fund Services (Ireland) Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (International) Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Advisory Services, Inc. is registered as a portfolio manager and exempt market dealer in each province of Canada, and is registered as an investment fund manager in Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland & Labrador. Its principal regulator is the Ontario Securities Commission and is subject to Canadian and provincial laws. BNY Mellon, National Association is not licensed to conduct investment business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the “BMA") and the BMA does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or correctness of any of the statements made or advice expressed herein. BNY Mellon is not licensed to conduct investment business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the “BMA") and the BMA does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy or correctness of any of the statements made or advice expressed herein. Trademarks and logos belong to their respective owners. BNY Mellon Wealth Management conducts business through various operating subsidiaries of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. ©2017 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. All rights reserved.