James Feldkamp Examines Explosive Growth in Natural Wine Production
With both production and sales skyrocketing recently, the natural wine market has never been more buoyant. Author and wine expert James Feldkamp, from Arlington County, Virginia, takes a closer look at the figures, and suggests why he believes that this famously once more niche corner of the drinks sector has ballooned in recent years.
“As a fan of natural wines myself for many years, it’s nice to see others beginning to appreciate many of the varieties that I love and enjoy,” says James Feldkamp, speaking from his home in Arlington County, Virginia.
Natural wine is generally any variety that is free of commercial additives or preservatives, according to James Feldkamp. “Grapes used in natural wine are often farmed with the ecosystem firmly in mind,” he explains. The explosive growth of natural wine in recent years, Feldkamp believes, rests largely in the product’s natural, organic, and local nature. “People are becoming ever more interested in locally produced and sourced food and ingredients,” says the author and retired naval officer, “and the same is now true, it seems, when it comes to wine.”
The latest estimates put the value of the natural wine market in the U.S. at as much as $200 million. This, however, James Feldkamp states, arguably remains a somewhat conservative total. “If we were to factor in wines that are natural save for the addition of just a tiny quantity of preservative, this number would certainly be much, much higher,” he suggests.
Further to the adoption of natural wine by those keen to champion the product’s organic and often local nature, many have also turned to natural wine varieties for their added zest. “Natural wines are typically unfiltered and thus much more zesty, which appeals to lots of people,” James Feldkamp explains, “even those who may not, in the past, have been big wine drinkers.”
Looking solely at organic wine—a category into which most, but not all, natural wines are included—this market is estimated by the International Wines and Spirits Record to see over one billion bottles produced globally each year by 2023. This, James Feldkamp points out, is almost three times the approximately 350 million bottles produced and sold just a few years ago, back in 2012. In the U.S. alone, the corresponding increase would represent a growth in the consumption of organic and natural wines equivalent to around 15 percent within under three years, according to the wine expert.
Particularly popular with dynamic and typically urban wine drinkers, natural wines have been most widely embraced, reports suggest, in places such as Austin, Detroit, and Denver. “Natural wine importers and distributors, however,” James Feldkamp reveals, “are setting up channels nationwide, with significant forward growth in the market expected in most U.S. states.”
A retired naval officer, James Feldkamp is today, an author and widely respected cybersecurity expert with more than 30 years of professional achievements under his belt. Currently a subject matter expert at Georgetown University, Feldkamp was previously an adjunct professor at both George Mason University, Virginia, and George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., teaching undergraduate courses in domestic and international terrorism. In his spare time, James Feldkamp’s hobbies and interests include wine tasting, travel, and sailing.