Next Steps in Building a Wild Blue Wine Industry
February 26th 2021 Noon – 2PM – register here at the UMaine WBC Series
- Millennials and GenZ have fueled the growth of a multi-billion dollar “alternative” drinks market for natural wine, cider, wild/sour beer, kombucha and others by connecting to consumer values: natural, authentic, local, healthy, unique, with a sense of purpose.
- Fermented, pure Maine wild blueberry drinks fit this segment and have potential to become a major new industry that can benefit producers, growers, and the entire State.
- While Maine has the supply, talent, stories and stakeholders to create this industry incrementally over time, a concerted, strategic effort can accelerate growth and seize market share in the disrupted, quickly-changing market–with major consequences.
The goals of this convening–part of the Maine Wild Blueberry Conference–is to begin thinking together about the kind of ecosystem (or “cluster”) that has proven critical to significant market growth in the world of wine, cider, beer and other beverages. What already exists? What is missing? Why is it worth building? How would it work? Who would be involved?
To begin tackling these questions, we are bringing together existing stakeholders in Maine’s wild blueberry world (and beyond) with the emerging producers of wild blueberry wine that targets this “alternative” segment.
While not exhaustive, these include producers, growers, distributors, educators, researchers, State agencies, investors, journalists, and others.
Our goal is to create a trade/working group to help advance this work.
The ambitious, two-hour session will include many different voices, allowing very limited time for each, yet hopefully offering a collective, kaleidoscopic snapshot of how different people and different worlds could together help shape the future of wild blue wine in Maine.
- Producers. Michael Terrien (Bluet); Joe Appel/Dan Roche (RAS Wines); Rob Todd/Jason Perkins (Allagash).
- Growers: Linda Nash of Nash Farms; Jeremy Howard of Brodis Blueberries; Simeon Allen of WR Allen.
- Market: Tabitha Perry of Crush Distributors; Jeremy Meyer of Garber & Co.; Rowan Jacobsen (food journalist)
- Systems: Mary Ellen Camire (UMaine); Nichole Sawyer (WCCC); Nancy McBrady (DACF); Gray Harris (CEI);