What factors explain the price of top quality wines?

International Journal of Wine Business Research. Marzo de 2018.

Given the growing supply of wines and the large number of new consumers with purchasing power but lacking knowledge of the subtleties of high-quality wines, expert opinions are used for consumers as proxies for quality. This study aims to determine the determinants of prices in top-quality wine market. The authors also seek to estimate the role for country of origin, grape, producing region and winery in prices. And, finally, the authors try to show how countries, regions and wineries can help increase their position in international rankings. The authors estimate an econometric model of hedonic prices using a 14-year sample of the Wine Spectator’s 100 top-rated wines for the American market between 2003 and 2016, totaling 1,400 observations. The authors’ contribution is twofold: the determination of the price explanatory values and the identification and attribution of price differences by country, grape, region and winery. Also, the authors detected grapes, countries, regions and wineries which are overvalued or undervalued with respect to the average prediction of the model. The findings are useful to understand the role of price explanatory variables, as well as for making policy and managerial decisions. From the model, collective or managerial actions can be derived to increase particular wines’ positions in international rankings.