Luxury Institute Survey of Affluent Wine Drinkers Reveals Most Popular and Most Prestigious Brands of Premium Wines

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - April 05, 2016) - Every year since 2006, the New York-based Luxury Institute has surveyed wealthy U.S. consumers about their wine drinking habits and brand preferences in the premium wine category. Results of the latest survey included in the 2016 Premium Wine Luxury Brand Status Index reveal detailed ratings and rankings of 21 premium domestic wine brands by consumers 21 and over living in households with a minimum annual income of $150,000. Households reported average income of $316,000, and average net worth of $3.7 million.

Affluent wine drinkers indicated which brands they typically purchase and how much they usually spend per bottle in stores and in restaurants. They also rated each brand along four "pillars" of brand value: superior quality; exclusivity; enhanced social status, and the ability of the brand to make them "feel special" throughout the entire consumption experience. In addition, respondents indicated which wine brands are worth premium prices, those that they would recommend to people close to them, and those that they are most likely to buy the next time they purchase wine.

Although Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve and Robert Mondavi are the two brands with which affluent consumers are most familiar and most likely to have purchased, several smaller labels rank highly across the brand value criteria. Caymus Vineyards, Justin, and Rombauer Vineyards are particular standouts on questions of self-enhancement, delivering superior quality, being truly unique and exclusive, whether they are brands consumed by people who are admired and respected.

Caymus, Justin, and Rombauer also rank highly among brands that affluent drinkers deem worthy of premium prices, and those that they would recommend to family and close friends. Additional brands receiving notably high ratings on these key outcome metrics are Decoy, Ferrari Carano, Meiomi, and Mount Veeder.

Robert Mondavi Winery enjoys widespread popularity among affluent drinkers. When asked which of the 21 brands they would open for an everyday wine, 31% of affluent drinkers cite Mondavi by name, and 23% say that they would open a bottle of Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve. The two popular brands swap places in the rankings when it comes to special occasions: 25% prefer to celebrate with Kendall Jackson, while 19% choose Mondavi.

Caymus Vineyards, which produces 65,000 cases a year of its renowned Cabernet Sauvignon, appears again as a smaller standout, cited by 16% of respondents as a preferred wine brand for special occasions, and the favorite brand among those who earn more than $500,000 a year. Caymus also ranks just behind Kendall Jackson and Robert Mondavi in terms of suitability for gift-giving, and as the brand that wealthy drinkers are most likely buy when they make their next wine purchase.

"Winemakers have a market of enthusiasts among affluent U.S. consumers, 90% of whom identify themselves as wine drinkers, and 58% saying that they drink at least once a week," says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. "Repeatedly what we have seen in our surveys over the past decade is that exclusivity and superior quality can help many smaller vineyards cultivate brand status that far exceeds their relatively smaller sizes."

Respondents evaluated the following 21 premium wine labels:

1. Beaulieu Vineyards

2. Caymus Vineyards

3. Decoy

4. Ferrari Carano

5. Franciscan Estate

6. Frei Brothers Reserve

7. Ghost Pines

8. J Lohr

9. Justin

10. Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve

11. Kim Crawford

12. La Crema

13. Meiomi

14. Mount Veeder

15. Robert Mondavi Winery

16. Rombauer Vineyards

17. Ruffino

18. Saved

19. Simi

20. Sonoma Cutrer

21. Wild Horse

About Milton Pedraza and Luxury Institute, LLC

Milton Pedraza is the CEO of the Luxury Institute. Over the past 12 years, Milton has established the Luxury Institute, first and foremost, as a high-performance client relationship consulting firm serving more than 1,000 luxury and premium goods and services brands across dozens of categories. The Luxcelerate System has helped brands significantly improve client data collection, conversion, and retention rates. In addition, the Institute has conducted more research with affluent consumers than any other entity in the world.

Milton advises and coaches luxury CEOs and advises the boards of top-tier luxury and premium brands, as well as luxury startups. He is sought after worldwide for his practical, innovative and humanistic insights and recommendations on luxury and is the most quoted global luxury industry expert in leading media and publications.

Milton is also an authority on customer relationship management technologies, analytics, and Big Data. Prior to founding the Luxury Institute, his successful career at Fortune 100 companies included executive roles at Altria, PepsiCo, Colgate, Citigroup and Wyndham Worldwide.

Milton was born in Colombia, raised in the United States, and has lived in several countries. He has conducted business in over 100 countries, and speaks several languages.

The complete 2016 Premium Wine Luxury Brand Status Index is available for purchase. For complete rankings and ratings of all 21 wine brands, along with additional insights from the survey, visit, or contact Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza (

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