Saturday, March 17, 2018

Last Chance to Get 2018 DtC Metrics

The Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales Survey closes March 23

How do you know you are performing at the top of club performance, or even above the average? What percent of revenue, relative to total revenue do your neighbor wineries produce from just the tasting room or just the club? If I asked you how many wineries pay for data capture within their comp structure in the tasting room, what would be your guess? What percent of revenue comes in through web sales in your region?
What's the reserve tasting fee in your region? How about the average tenure of a club member sorted out by average bottle price? Would it help to know the average gain in club members in your AVA last year?
Each year for the past decade, we've surveyed the US Wine Industry on their Direct to Consumer efforts and after running the analysis, returned the benchmarks, data set and all the charts to participants without charge, other than the 15 minutes needed to complete the survey. Last year we had over 10% of the wineries in the US participate. Why not your winery?
To try and get as much regional participation as possible, the annual Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales Survey has been extended one additional week and will now close this Friday, March 23. 
After taking the survey, you will be sent an email with your answers which you should save for the date when you get back all the benchmarks. Participants will receive the full analysis in middle May. 
To review the questions and prepare for the 2018 survey, download and print them here.


Please share this on your favorite social media, and pass around to your winery email contacts

Sunday, March 11, 2018

What Will the Wine Business Look Like in 2028?

I've recently been thinking about the changing metrics we've had available to manage the wine business over the years. What metrics existed 30 years ago for small wineries? How was wine sold then? What was the atmosphere like? How did we get information?

With daylight savings time upon us, I also started daydreaming today while looking out at the pool and thinking about summer. That brought me back to a trip to Mexico I took 40 years ago, so Mexico met up with metrics in this post as I pondered what direct sales will look like in 2028.

In 1988 my wife won a sales contest at work that provided for an all-expenses paid three days at the Fiesta Americana in Puerto Vallarta. I had never been to a foreign country before, except Canada and I didn't count Canada as foreign. But Mexico? Well going there would make me an official world traveler!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Weed is Impacting Wine Sales

         Everybody Must Get Stoned ...

I spent last week at the Unified Wine Symposium in Sacramento. I've been coming to the conference since 1995; the first year ASEV and CAWG merged their separate conferences into one. Life was very different back then.

In 1995 you could find a really good bottle of Napa Cabernet for $15, Fed Funds were 8.5%, and marijuana possession was considered a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 and prosecuted as such - right along with LSD, mescaline, and magic mushrooms.

The very next year - late in 1996, California became the first state to allow the legal use of medical marijuana, leading to the collapse of the Unified Conference and all wine sales as we knew them.

OK that last part's not true. Since that first year of Unified, wine sales in the US have experienced 20+ years of growth, even with medical marijuana coming on the scene. And Unified's Trade Show which back then didn't even fill up the first floor of the Sacramento Convention Center, now has two floors of trade show participants and a waiting list to get on the floor. Needless to say, the Unified Conference has thrived.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018 SVB Wine Report Videocast Replay

The 2018 Annual SVB Wine Industry Videocast was presented last Wednesday to a record audience both domestically and across the globe. You are welcome to replay and review the session above. 

I'm always happy when the videocast is over because it marks the end of 3+ months of writing and research, which is a marathon to begin with considering I have other job responsibilities and the research and report activities push through the Holiday Season. This year though, the process felt like running a half-marathon wearing ankle weights.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Disturbing Sales Growth Trends Through September

Most of wineries have already developed their strategic plans for 2018 and are starting to execute. The plans had to be put together using history as a guide, laced with a hint of a best guess. That's just the way this family owned industry has to roll.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fire Damage Becoming Clear

When you're standing in the middle of something, it's hard to understand just how big it is, and when the Napa fires were at the early stage and there was no progress in containment, I got a sense of just how big a story it was when I started taking press calls from around the globe. The reporters all wanted to know about the extent of the damage to the wine industry, having seen the pictures from Santa Rosa of utter destruction. It's not the first time I was in this position.

When the Napa Earthquake hit, I was tasked with trying to gauge the damage to the wine business for the Federal Disaster Declaration, but in that case I had some data to work with. This time, I had a phone, spotty cell coverage, no internet with widespread power outages so couldn't see news coverage, and was only keeping current with colleagues, family, and clients using texts and cell phone.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How Will We Recover from the Fires?

    Was That Just Last Week?

Without full containment yet, many are already looking forward to begin the recovery, even with still blurry and red eyes.

When I think about the wildfires that scoured the North Coast of California this past week, I come up with a hodgepodge of visuals – waking up to the red glow out of my bedroom window on Sunday night when it all started, a bulldozer cutting a firebreak a half mile from my home Tuesday night and saving my block, watching the heartbreaking sight of a neighbor’s home burn to the ground on a ridge Monday morning, seeing blood red sunsets, the feeling of relief when power finally came back on, and being unable to sleep listening to my cellphone screaming out Nixle Alerts every half hour telling me about a new evacuation, wondering when it would be my turn.

There are so many stressful points from the past week from which I have a lot of new stories to tell, and lots of pictures that I’ve shared on social media. It was a week that seemed more like a month, reinforced by a blur of numbingly shocking scenes.