Branson winery competes for customers, despite slashed wine prices nationwide

BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) -- A surplus of grapes in California is combining with a decreased demand for wine and could have wine prices dropping across the country.

"It's hard to compete with the California market because they have such a large growing season," said Sam Barton with Curling Vine Winery in Branson, Mo.

Barton said all of their wines are created using grapes grown in Missouri.

"We own all of our own vineyards and there's a lot of history and culture to Missouri Wines in and of itself dating pre-prohibition," he said.

The winery's bottles of wine range anywhere from $11 to $21, a price managers say won't be changing any time soon.

"The price that we have on our bottles is directly correlated to the effort involved in making the product and it goes down to the people who clip the leaves off the vines in the middle of winter to the guys driving the tractor when it's pouring down rain outside," Barton said. "All of the effort that goes into it has to be reflected into the price of the wine."

He said while local wineries are not competing for the lowest price, they are competing for the highest quality of wine.

"We're not going to move to purchasing outside grapes because there's a lot of competition among Missouri wineries and that competition creates capitalistic nature of course," he said. " Also, there's too much rich history there and we don't want to move away because it works. It already works."

Barton said although it can be hard to compete with mass-produced wines coming from California, he doesn't see it impacting their sales much.

"I think that Missouri markets are going to continue to benefit from the history and the effort that goes into keeping Missouri wines, Missouri wines," he said.

Wines from Curling Vines can only be purchased at the Branson location. Other Missouri wines can be found at local stores.

Interestingly, wine consumption has dropped for the first time in 25 years. Experts believe that's because millennials aren't drinking it.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.