Morgan Twain-Peterson was a precocious child. At age 5 he could distinguish between a merlot and a zinfandel.
Today the 28-year old co-founder of Bedrock Wine Co. in Sonoma can distinguish between more than varietals. Try fact and fiction.
Peterson says he’s no different from his fellow Millennials, the offspring of the baby boomers. “Millennials have a high sensitivity to BS,” he said. “They can tell what’s authentic and what’s not. Images of Napa Valley with Vivaldi playing in the background just doesn’t do it.”
Everybody’s scratching their head trying to figure out the mindset of the Millennials because they’re a potent group to tap into, Peterson said. “It’s the generation that’s most interested in wine than any we’ve seen.”
He said it’s also the generation spending the most money on wine but here’s the befuddling part – this generation doesn’t have brand loyalty. For instance, Peterson said, if a Millennial liked a bottle of Ridge zinfandel, he wouldn’t buy a case of it. He’d look on the shelf at the bottle next to the Ridge and buy that one. “I just hope it would be mine,” joked Peterson, who produces a range of wines including zinfandel and dry rose.
These “disloyal” Millennials also have yen for imports. They have a well-traveled palate and know they’re only a computer stroke away from great wine in the $15 to $20-range from anywhere in the world.
Peterson said they demand only one thing: good wine. He said if they like the wine and the winery, they’re apt to join a wine club.
“The traditional marketing model won’t work because Millennials don’t want to be marketed to,” Peterson said. “They want to discover things on their own.”
If you’re a Millennial, do you take exception to Peterson’s comments?
Is it true you like to discover things on your own? If so, what are your greatest discoveries in Wine Country – wine and/or winery?