• Enter Now

News

Rolling Blog: Daily Updates of How COVID-19 is Altering The Wine Industry

Photo for: Rolling Blog: Daily Updates of How COVID-19 is Altering The Wine Industry

03/07/2020 Get the latest news & updates of COVID-19 with this rolling blog.

Sommeliers Choice Awards will be gathering the latest news about the COVID 19’s affect on the wine industry. We’ll be updating this blog regularly with important news and stories.

3 July

'Don't tell my wine snob friends': Why Americans are buying more boxed wine during COVID-19

Boxed wine sales jumped 36% for the 15-week period ending June 13 compared with the same period last year, outpacing the 29% increase in overall retail wine sales during the same period, according to Nielsen research. Some stores temporarily have sold out. 

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

3 July

COVID-19 Impact on Sweet White Wine Market 

The Sweet White Wine market has been garnering remarkable momentum in the recent years. The steadily escalating demand due to improving purchasing power is projected to bode well for the market. 

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

3 July

Are you missing vineyard visits during quarantine? Try a virtual wine tasting

Vintners aren't letting the wine tasting experience fall by the wayside. Instead, many wineries are offering virtual tastings.

Some ship wine to your door, then schedule a video call to walk you through a tasting, much the same as you'd find at a vineyard. Others are creating video series that wine drinkers can watch on-demand. All are trying to adapt to the challenges of living and doing business amid the coronavirus crisis. 

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

3 July

Miami’s 305 Wines Celebrates Its First Anniversary with a Sparkling Promotion

305 Wines, the digital wine shop that has become a South Florida staple for providing high-quality, curated wines delivered to their client’s doorstep celebrates its first anniversary on July 8. To celebrate the anniversary in style, the company is launching a month-long promotion of 10% off all sparkling wines using promo code “CHEERS.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

11 May

Napa Valley wineries plan for tasting room reopenings

Anticipating the day when winery tasting rooms can reopen, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) this week submitted its proposed guidelines for tasting room operations in a COVID-19 world.

“Every winery is going to be different, but these measures were designed to be feasible for everyone. NVV is waiting for feedback from the county on its proposed post-lockdown guidelines” said  Michelle Novi, associate director of Industry Relations.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

11 May

Chicagoland Winery Raises $8K for Neighboring Businesses During Pandemic

“Within the first week of shelter in place orders we started thinking of ways to help our local businesses” says Lynfred’s marketing director, Christina Anderson-Heller. The winery regularly raises money for charity, donating every month to a local ‘Charity of the Month’. The ‘Relief for Roselle’ package is for sale on the winery’s website.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

11 May

Pre-COVID Business Like ‘HALCYON DAYS’ Says Leading Spanish Wine Player

“At the start of 2020 I never imagined we were embarking on a year that would make 2019 seem like halcyon days. Our UK customer base has faced the biggest and fastest changes I have ever seen. The on-trade channel switched off overnight leaving 5,000 of our customers in this channel in a very difficult position. By contrast, our key off-trade customers have seen a short term sales spike as people stocked up for lockdown and spending patterns started to change” Richard Cochrane, MD of Félix Solís

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

5 May

Rombauer Vineyards Supports Community

At this time, with the country heavily impacted by COVID-19 related illness and economic disruptions, Rombauer Vineyards is pleased to assist local and national charities with contributions in excess of $100,000 including donations to; Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, Meals on Wheels, The United Sommeliers Foundation, Sierra Health Foundation, Community Action of Napa Valley, Food Bank of El Dorado County, Redwood Empire Food Bank, and Interfaith Council of Amador County food bank.

Read the complete news HERE 

-----------------------------------

5 May 

US Lockdown Alcohol Sales: The Latest Trends

Bringing you the latest trends in alcoholic drinks sales in the US since the coronavirus lockdowns began, including the performance of wines, beers and spirits in both offline and online retail.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

5 May 

Chateau Chantal Provides Community Aid During Pandemic

Chantal Winery and Inn on Old Mission Peninsula just completed a month of contributions to local organizations providing COVID-19 related relief via a donation of 15% of their online sales during April.  The company provided $6,567 worth of contributions to the following organizations:

The Good Bowl Hospitality Worker Relief Fund

Northwest Michigan Health Services

NMCAA Meals on Wheels

The Crosshatch Artist Emergency Fund

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

4 May 2020

Oregon aims to include brewpubs, wineries in reopening

Oregon is planning to allow its famed microbreweries and wine tasting rooms to reopen when it starts loosening stay-home orders, rejecting a federal recommendation that bars remain closed

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

4 May

US wine sales in stores up 14% in 5th week of coronavirus lockdown but tripled via e-commerce

For the seven weeks of noticeable impact from COVID-19 — since March 7 — wine off-premises sales were up 29.4% in dollar sales overall from a year before. Hot wine package-size and price categories in the pandemic have been 1.5- and 3-liter boxes, as well as standard 750-milliliter bottled wine retailing for $20-$25 and $11-$15.

Read the complete news HERE
-----------------------------------

1 May

US wine industry could lose $6 billion as a result of the coronavirus

The revenue losses, for the 12-month period starting in March, are expected for a sector with more than 10,000 wineries and 8,000 wine grape growers as a result of COVID-19, said Jon Moramarco, managing partner of bw166, a wine consulting firm.

Roughly 97% of all U.S. wineries produce less than 50,000  cases a year and they are estimated to experience annual revenue losses between 36% and 66%, Moramarco said. Smaller wineries will be most affected as projected losses will increase as winery production decreases. Wineries producing 1,000 to 5,000 cases could experience revenue loss of 47.5% and wineries producing fewer than 1,000 cases may lose 66% of their revenue.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

1 May

Wines of South Africa Announces South African Wine Exports Allowed

The South African wine industry is elated to announce that the South African Government decided yesterday to lift transport restrictions on movement, from tomorrow, Friday, May 1, as part of the country’s move from level 5 to level 4 restrictions regarding the Covid-19 lockdown. 

This means that transport and export of wine, manufacturing and related services will be able to resume and the industry will be able to fulfill its obligations with regard to wine exports. The industry has expressed its gratitude to the government for this decision. 

Read the complete mews HERE

-----------------------------------

1 May 

Online Course: How To Sell Your Wines to Restaurants Effectively

How many times has it happened that you realized you could've done something different during the sales call, that would've led to a big sale? Or something that you shouldn't have done, that could have hampered your prospect?⠀

Wineries and winemakers, Learn how to improve your sales numbers from your restaurant clients in this latest BTN online course.⠀

Register your webinar HERE

-----------------------------------

1 May

Drinking More Wine During the Lockdown? You’re Not Alone

Data from Nielsen shows that wine sales for off-premise consumption during the period from March 1 to April 18 were 29 percent higher than in the same period one year earlier.

Total alcoholic beverage sales for off-premise consumption were up 24 percent. Of course, on-premise sales — sales at restaurants and bars — have fallen off a cliff. But the rise in off-premise sales is exceeding the 20 percent benchmark Nielsen estimates is necessary to offset the on-premise losses.

 That suggests alcohol consumption is up slightly in the crisis, a remarkably robust trend since most kinds of consumer activity are way down.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

1 May

Auction of Washington Wines Moving to Virtual-Only Events in 2020

AWW’s 33rd annual wine weekend of events in August will shift to a virtual auction for participants to enjoy in the comfort of their homes on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. AWW leaders made the decision with consideration for the safety and wellbeing of all patrons, donors, sponsors, winemakers and staff.

“We must find new ways to come together and are thrilled for the opportunity to re-imagine what this year’s programming will look like in a virtual environment,” said Jamie Peha, AWW’s Executive Director.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

1 May 

Make your delivery services visible with Get Drinks Delivered

You might be delivering, but not everyone might know about it - so how are you going to make customers see that you’re delivering? This is exactly why Beverage Trade Network is launching Get Drinks Delivered.

GetDrinksDelivered.com platform is now available for registration to all wineries, distilleries, breweries, bottle shops and restaurants that are making deliveries to customers or have curbside pick-up options. List your business for FREE

-----------------------------------

30 April

Palate Club Helps Wine Lovers Overcome the COVID Crisis by Launching Personalized Wine Shipping Nationally

San Francisco-based wine club startup Palate Club announces nationwide shipping today to ensure safe home deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This was important timing, according to French founder & CEO Nicolas Mendiharat. “More people are stuck at home from COVID-19 shutdowns and want to connect through wine. For us, wine is about humanity and savoring life,” he expresses. “Now more than ever, this message is what drives us.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

30 April 

Michigan alcohol industry makes donations during COVID-19 pandemic

Donations include cash, personal protection equipment (PPE), food and meals. These donations come by way of producers, distributors, retailers, distillers and wineries.

“So many people are facing great challenges right now that the alcohol beverage industry is rallying to help during this dire situation,” MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi said in a statement. “These are businesses that are also negatively impacted by the pandemic, but have stepped up so generously to help others.”  

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

30 April 

Covid-19 Impact on Wine Tourism in the United States

“Wineries and tourism have a symbiotic relationship,” said WineAmerica President Jim Trezise. “The romance of ‘wine country’ attracts millions of tourists, who are the lifeblood of the industry, especially for the smaller wineries. Marketing innovations have mitigated the losses due to closed tasting rooms, but not entirely, and the situation will get worse as more time goes by.

 As more states start to reopen, WineAmerica is working to develop ‘best practices’ for tasting rooms that will protect the safety of winery employees and customers while allowing for a pleasant and enjoyable wine country experience.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

30 April 

From Prosecco To Chianti: Italy's Wine Industry Takes A Hit From COVID-19

With Italy's restaurants and bars closed for another month and global trade snuffed out by the coronavirus, the world's top wine-producing country is experiencing an existential crisis.

Some of Italy's most prestigious wines are suffering from the worldwide lockdown.

Producers have not only sales to worry about, but logistics too. Since wine in cellars has not been sold, there will be no more room for the new wine usually taking its place that will be made after harvest this autumn.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

29 April 

Napa Valley Grapegrowers Providing Protective Masks, Safety Posters and Vineyard Signs

The NVG and the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) have developed a full toolkit of resources in English and Spanish for vineyard crews and winery workers.  These resources include:

• Enhanced Safety Protocols – English / Spanish

• Addendum IIPP Template for COVID – English / Spanish

• Social Distancing Vineyard Sign

• Safety In the Workplace Poster – English / Spanish

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

29 April

CA ABC and TTB Provide Guidance to Wineries on Virtual Tastings

ABC’s latest Notice of Regulatory Relief on Virtual Wine Tastings, issued on Friday April 24, provided certain guidelines for wineries conducting such virtual tastings while their licensed wine premises or tasting rooms are closed:

• Samples or tastes for wine tastings cannot be given for free to consumers.  Such samples or tastes must either be sold to the consumer or included as part of a sale of wine or other products to the consumer.

•Any wine shipped to consumers, including small tasting samples, must be sent in a manufacturer sealed container.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

28 April

As If COVID-19 Weren’t Bad Enough: Government Regulations Cripple The South African Wine Industry

Currently, South Africa is the only country in the world whose lockdown regulations include a ban on all liquor sales.

New indications point toward an easing of those regulations to take effect this Friday, May 1st, when Level Five status is expected to shift to Level Four where wine as a sector will be permitted to function again

For a country that exports up to half of its wine production, Level Five causes a weekly financial impact of approximately R-200 million in lost wine exports alone.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

28 April

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

28 April 

Major European wine-producing nations are facing a crisis before the 2020 harvest season even looms into view

Winegrowers are left with a growing stock of unsold products. Lorenzo Cesconi, vice president of the Italian Independent Winegrowers Federation, explained that sales to bars, restaurants, hotels, and cafes account for more than 50 percent of all wine sold by Italian wine producers – a figure he says can’t be made up by retail sales alone.

“At the moment, the main issue is that the on-trade channel is basically non-existent, and so are direct sales at the winery”, says Cesconi, adding that members have to cover all the production costs associated with wine production but aren’t able to benefit from revenue streams.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

28 April 

Finger Lakes Wineries Create Engaging Marketing Programs During Coronavirus Pandemic

“I am in awe of our Finger Lakes wineries. They have completely redesigned their 2020 marketing activities since New York went into PAUSE mode mid-March” states Carmela Barbagallo, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance.

“Many of the Finger Lakes wineries are family-run operations. We have seen them embrace this new operating environment with agility and grace whether or not they have a dedicated marketing department. Finger Lakes wineries are finding innovative ways to connect with their customers and provide hope, entertainment and some good old-fashioned fun” states Barbagallo.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

28 April 

Boisset Collection Releases Victory Day Wine to Benefit Veterans, Offers Sommelier Select Cabernet to Consumers & Retailers to Help Wine Professionals

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on May 8, 1945, Boisset Collection has released a new wine and is donating a portion of the proceeds to support veterans’ causes. Victory Day, a blend of Sonoma County fruit, is named after the historic day that marked the conclusion to the world’s deadliest conflict. Boisset Collection is proudly donating $1 for every bottle sold to veterans’ charities.

Read the complete news HERE

 

 

-----------------------------------

27 April

An online wine tasting may sound like a joke. But in the lockdown world it has become a way to do business.

Cue a plethora of online wine-tasting events from top wineries all around South Africa, as well as their global counterparts. No, neither Zoom nor Houseparty are sufficiently advanced to enable you to lick your screen and get the 100% wine-tasting experience. But at least you can engage with the winemaker. 

Angelica Valenzuela, sales manager at Wines of Chile, says: “It challenges us to sell our brands with different methods, to be more creative, to use technology. In the end, when things return to normal, we’ll have our regular channels and the new ones developed during the coronavirus crisis.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

27 April

Many Hungarian wineries significantly affected and facing export uncertainty as well as a halt on sales to local restaurants

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

27 April

Sake (Japanese Rice Wine) Market Overview

The complete lockdown situation in several countries, has directly or indirectly impacted many industries causing a shift in activities like supply chain operations, vendor operations, product commercialization, etc.

 In the latest report on Sake (Japanese Rice Wine) Market, published by Market Research Intellect, numerous aspects of the current market scenario have been taken into consideration and a concise analysis has been put together to bring you with a study that has Pre- and Post-COVID market analysis.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

24 April 

How ‘very socially disruptive’ Measures Will Effect The Wine Trade

There are major concerns for all parts of the supply chain that come with a re-opening of businesses with social distancing guidelines still in place.

In terms of the hospitality sector, it is hard to see how such measures could be adhered to while running a fully functioning business, both in terms of the practicalities – how can you serve a customer and keep a 2m distance? – but also the bigger issue that a part-filled bar, pub or restaurant won’t be profitable.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

24 April 

12 Wine Experts Suggest What To Drink During Quarantine

We can’t dispute that a glass of great wine delivers a dose of comfort, but instead of reaching for your usual red, use this time to discover something new. To help you find a quarantine quaff, here are the wine experts spanning from Aspen to Tokyo with their recommendations. They shared a complex pour from Portugal, a lush pinot noir from Oregon and much more.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

24 April 

“Our goal during these unprecedented times is to be a beacon of assistance, service and hope to our members and our on-premise colleagues who need our support more than ever,” said Deborah Brenner, Founder & CEO of Women of the Vine & Spirits.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

24 April 

Coronavirus May Cut Wine Sales in Europe by Half: OIV

"In Europe, the shutdown of this important channel of distribution might bring a reduction of 35% in volume and a reduction of almost 50% in sales," International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) Director General Pau Roca told a webcast news conference, without giving a timeframe.

Mediterranean countries would be most affected as they rely heavily on bars, restaurants and terraces and tourism will remain limited even after lockdown measures are lifted.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

23 April

Nakedwines.com launches $5M support fund for winemakers disrupted by COVID-19

The temporary closure of bars and restaurants, as well as winery tasting rooms and events for the foreseeable future, is being keenly felt by winemakers everywhere.

To help this community of winemakers, nakedwines.com is making $5M immediately available to buy their wine, and give them access to its 500,000 Angel customers in the US, UK and Australia, and the chance of a permanent listing.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

23 April

How The Wine Market Is Holding Up In The Times Of Coronavirus

There is a tremendous amount of channel shifting: from on-premise to off premise, tasting rooms to direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping, more frequent shopping to less frequent shopping with larger basket sizes and combinations of these shifts.

On the last point, for the four weeks ending March 28, 2020—compared to the same four-week period in 2019—there were 12 percent more households purchasing wine off-premise, and dollar spend of wine per buyer was +15 percent.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

22 April

Having “sold out” in European retailers, but lost all its restaurant wine business due to Covid-19 lockdowns, leading Slovenian producer Puklavec views the current drinks market “with a smile and a tear”.

Tatjana Puklavec from Puklavec Family Wines said that she had “sold out” in The Netherlands’ biggest supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, and was experiencing surges in demand in the UK and Poland, while commenting that overall sales for the Slovenian producer were 50% higher than had originally been budgeted for in export markets.

However, commenting on the “big channel switch” from restaurants to retail sales of wine since the lockdowns in Europe shuttered the on-premise, she said, “We have lost all of our on-trade business, therefore we need the raise in the off-trade.”

Continuing she said, “In our home country Slovenia and also in Croatia we depend 20% on the on-trade: we lost 75% in March, and in April we have sold zero bottles, so we are really happy about better sales in the off-trade.” 

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

22 April 

Heidi Scheid on Coping with Oversupply and a Pandemic

One of the largest vertically integrated wine and grape growing operations in California has changed operations to keep its business running while also keeping its employees safe.

When asked Heidi said “we took a proactive approach for all of our people that could work at home. Even before we really had to, all of our marketing people picked up their laptops and got set up in their home offices. Salespeople, of course, are not getting out on the road anymore, but they’re used to using technology to stay in contact with people.

On the production side, that’s obviously where it gets a little more difficult.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

22 April

Questions wineries need to answer before talking with lenders about coronavirus-caused financial woes

With coronavirus-linked dips in cash flow leading to loan-repayment problems, and the sudden drop in sales and operating earnings resulting in breaches of financial covenants, many wineries are facing looming loan defaults.

Lenders are confronting a situation where many of their borrowers and potential buyers of winery assets are uncertain and under financial stress, making it unproductive to reflexively declare defaults and exercise remedies. With both wineries and lenders subject to the downturn and uncertainty from the pandemic, we anticipate that many well positioned wine businesses to be in serious workout discussions with their lenders in the near future.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

21 April

The South African Wine Industry Responds to the Effects of the Ban on Exports

Despite an initial exemption made by the government on the 7th of April to allow the transport of finished goods to harbors and airports for the purpose of export, this exemption was revoked in a government briefing on the 16th of April, once again bringing all exports to a halt – an industry which, on average, exports wine to the value of more than $9.3 million.

The effect of this, compounded with the fact that all local sales and distribution of wine and all other alcohol products is strictly prohibited, could see an industry which has been struggling financially for years, finally brought to its knees.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

21 April 

One Billion Litres of wine at risk in Europe, says  MEP Eric Andrieu

Andrieu has called on the European Commission to intervene, stating that the situation could have “serious repercussions” on employment, particularly among smaller businesses.

The Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) has released a statement in which it notes that wine producers in many European countries have reported logistical challenges and a fall in sales. Due to the additional health and safety measures required, production facilities are operating at slower speeds and some have “closed down altogether”.

Jean-Marie Barillère, President of CEEV, said: “With the HoReCa (Hotels, Restaurants, Cafés) channel closed almost everywhere, we estimate that a 30% in volume and 50% in value of the EU wine market is locked. 

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

20 April

Actors and married couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have launched a ‘quarantine’ Pinot Noir from Oregon and will donate 100% of the profits to charities providing Covid-19 relief.

The acting duo took to social media to announce the launch of the wine, which they said was inspired by having virtual drinks and meals with their friends during lockdown.

Kunis came up with the original idea, and Kutcher was able to contact his friend Harding to put it into practice.

The Quarantine Pinot Noir 2018 is made from grapes sourced from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and was made by winemaker Sarah Cabot of Battle Creek Vineyards.

The wine is priced at US$50 for two bottles, or $40 for members of Nocking Point’s wine club. It is available to buy now and will be shipped in early May.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

20 April 

Beverage Trade Network Launches Platform To Help Businesses Make Delivery Services Visible

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

20 April

To serve guests in a world of social distancing, sommeliers are turning to technology to host virtual tastings

Sommeliers live for interactions with guests, the chance to share both wine knowledge and hospitable service. But with their dining rooms closed due to the coronavirus crisis, somms and restaurateurs across the United States are looking for new ways to connect with customers.

Through social media platforms and video-conferencing tools like Zoom, restaurants are hosting wine tastings to engage with guests and fulfill a yearning for community connection—the very basis of the hospitality industry. 

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

17 April

Tasting Samples for Virtual Winery Experiences Approved by TTB

TTB and California ABC both confirmed today that they will permit small containers of wine to be sent to consumers for virtual tasting under existing regulations, subject to meeting specific federal and state requirements. New York, Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina will also permit shipping of tastings samples subject to their current DTC regulations and Wine Institute is working on getting approvals from other states that currently allow DTC shipping.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

17 April 

US Wine Losses from COVID-19 Could Reach $5.94 Billion

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

16 April 

Wine exports positive but pandemic impacts yet to come

Wine Australia has reported that positive figures of the past year do not mean that the pandemic has not affected exports, but it is too early to tell just what this impact will be.

Wine Australia’s CEO Andreas Clark said the nature of the export industry, and the fact that the pandemic was evolving daily in major markets like the UK and USA, meant that it was too early to get an accurate picture of how COVID-19 will affect Australia’s wine exports. 

However, he did note that the first quarter of 2020 had a significantly steeper slowdown than that of previous years, thanks largely to declines in China during their peak battle with the virus. 

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

16 April 

Italian wine group Santa Margherita, together with its parent company Zignago Holding, has donated €1 million to a hospital in Veneto to aid the Covid-19 relief effort

President of Zignago Holding, Stefano Marzotto, said: “Our group owes everything to our local area, ever since my grandfather founded the company back in 1935. We have always strived to combine our business objectives with social and ethical responsibility.

“This recovery room project is important to our local community because it represents an immediate and concrete promise of help to handling this crisis now. In the future, when this crisis finishes, it will give Portogruaro Hospital the ability to handle other emergency situations more effectively, allowing them to treat post-operative patients separately from other ICU patients.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

15 April 

Sommeliers Looking For Jobs Help Page

Beverage Trade Network and Sommeliers Choice Awards have taken this initiative to help sommeliers and wine directors and other on-premise front-line professionals whose jobs are at risk due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and who have been laid off due to the restaurant industry suffering.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

15 April

Covid Infects Logistics, Especially Independent Wineries

It seems that coronavirus has infected many aspects of the wine business, from the supply chain that wineries depend on for everything from bottles to labels, to the successful sales system that many of the world's celebrated small-scale brands have established in recent years.

For many small-scale winemakers with robust cult followings, this pandemic has exposed their relative lack of power. Sure, they may sell out their allotment every year, but only if they can get bottles to put their juice in, the boxes to ship the bottles in and, hell, the bottling line to actually make time for them.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

14 April 

Quarantine isn't going to deter wine tours. Wineries offer virtual tastings amid shutdown

In stark contrast to the normal hustle and bustle of tourists and oenophiles, the grounds sit empty at California's oldest commercial winery – the historic Buena Vista.

Tasting rooms statewide shut down last month after the governor ordered businesses to close to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Buena Vista and other wineries that want to stay viable and connected to their customers during the pandemic harness technology and platforms such as Facebook Live to offer virtual wine experiences.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

14 April 

How California North Coast wineries are surviving during shelter orders that shutter big sources of sales

It’ the social-distance or no-contact nouveau statut of wine marketing during the global coronavirus pandemic, as vintners quickly have had to get creative to reach consumers who early evidence shows are eager to stock up on beverage alcohol.

But “high-touch” marketing methods that the Mondavi families made California Wine Country status quo over 7 decades for producers of premium wines morphed overnight in mid-March by public health necessity to video conference tastings, curbside pickup of wine orders, increased direct-to-consumer sales by phone and website, and a surge in sales at brick-and-mortar stores.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

10 April 

Ningxia is one of the renowned winemaking regions in China and, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the development of the local industry has not stopped.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

10 April 

How Wineries Are Keeping The Juices Flowing During The Pandemic

Wineries are finding ways to cope up with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic- discounting product and shipping rates and tying in charitable-giving incentives. And even in uncertain times, wine-industry leaders large and small are stepping up relief efforts—from cash and in-kind donations to employee and peer support. Here’s a roundup of who’s doing what to keep the juices flowing.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

10 April

Serbia's wine producers hit hard by coronavirus lockdown

In the Kovacevic winery in the town of Irig, on the sloping hills of northern Serbia’s Fruska Gora region, workers have been busy this week bottling wine that will not be sold until after the coronavirus outbreak ends.

“We are still working, preparing wines, bottling them as if all this will end tomorrow,” Miroslav Kovacevic.

With 20% annual growth in exports, Serbia’s wines had been identified by the government as a way to boost a national economy which, before the pandemic, was set to grow by 4%.

But the lockdown brought wine sales and exports to a near halt, Kovacevic said. “This is a big blow. We will book a loss of around 1 million euros.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

9 April

People move online for wine as coronavirus shuts pubs: Naked Wines

Britons and Americans stuck in coronavirus lockdowns may not be drinking in bars and pubs but they are ordering more wine for delivery, online seller Naked Wines 

“In the short term, the introduction of social distancing has accelerated the shift in consumer buying behaviour towards online,” Chief Executive Officer Nick Devlin said.

“In the US, especially, I believe the current period could serve as an inflection point for the growth rate of the online category, and as the largest direct to consumer player in the US market we are well positioned as customers move online.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

9 April

How to get alcoholic beverages delivered to your door

It's the weekend, and you may find yourself running low on wine, beer, and spirits. Maybe it was all of the virtual happy hours over Zoom. Or maybe you want to unwind from the stress of the coronavirus outbreak with a Netflix Party and an adult beverage, but you can't summon the energy to head to the store while wearing a homemade face mask. Alcohol delivery is looking pretty good.

You're not alone in this decision. Online alcohol sales skyrocketed by 243% over one week in the middle of March in the US, according to research from Nielsen.

Here's how to find a service you can use in your area.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

8 April 2020

Expert Guidelines To Virtual Wine Tastings

If you’re a wine loving consumer, chances are very good that you’ve experienced a virtual wine tasting these past few weeks, or at least you’ve been given the opportunity to try one out.

Virtual wine tastings have been thrust into the spotlight recently, as the impact of SARS-CoV-2 is inspiring wineries to shift attention to engaging more directly with consumers online. Here are five signs of virtual wine tastings done well.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

8 April 2020

Champagne sales have suffered a “huge decrease” since the coronavirus lockdowns began, but it’s also believed that this great marker of celebratory times could resume “normal business at the end of the year”.

Co-president of the Comité Champagne, Jean-Marie Barillère, said there had been “a huge decrease” in sales of the great and famous fizz.

Commenting specifically about the French market, which represents almost 50% of Champagne sales by volume, he recorded “no activity in restaurants, bars and hotels”, which are closed during the lockdown in his home nation, and represent around one-third of the market for Champagne. “We have a 70% decrease in sales [of Champagne] in supermarkets and hypermarkets in the last two weeks in France, so there has been a huge decrease,” he said.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

7 April 2020

Delivery by dog: A new way to get wine in the age of social distancing

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

7 April 2020

How will coronavirus affect wine consumption? ‘We may have seen the end of the premiumization trend for now’

Wine Intelligence looks at how consumer trends are likely to shift: from a dramatic move towards off-premise sales, to a new awareness and emphasis on local origin products.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

6 April 2020

US drinks group Constellation Brands reported a 6.4% net sales decline for its wine and spirits business in fiscal 2020.

“My goal in doing this is to reiterate that our strategy remains unchanged and to provide the confidence we have in the growth prospects for our core business as I continue to feel very optimistic about our long-term opportunities,” Bill Newlands, president and CEO of Constellation Brands, said during a conference call for the results.

“When we look at the beverage alcohol category, we are generally a recession-resistant industry. In previous recessions and downturns the industry has generally been non-cyclical and only minimally effective.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

6 April 2020

A Small Winery’s Cellar and Vineyard Adjusts During COVID 19

Paul and Maggie Bush, grape growers and owners of  Madroña Vineyards and Rucksack Cellars, in the Camino Fruitridge region of El Dorado wine country, are trying to ease the learning curve during the coronavirus outbreak.

When asked what they are doing differently to keep the vineyards and winemaking on schedule with COVID 19 restrictions placed on them, Paul and Maggie say they are learning to punt and using sweat equity to its fullest potential. “Well, first thing that comes to mind is that I’m playing the music in the winery louder!” says Paul. “But seriously, Maggie and I sat down very quickly to pencil out new budgets with assumptions of little or no revenue coming in.” As a result, Maggie and Paul are working even harder than before and have adjusted the hours of cellar staff.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

6 April 2020

Pernod Ricard, one of the leading global producers of wines and spirits, is donating large quantities of pure alcohol for hand sanitizer’s production worldwide.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

2 April 2020

The Wine Society reveals plans to reopen during lockdown

The Wine Society, which announced last week that it was temporarily closing for the first time in its 146-year history, is planning a phased reopening in the coming weeks. 

In a letter to the Society’s members, chairman Sarah Evans, said: “Not even during the World Wars did we have to pause operations. But so serious is the current threat to the health of our staff, their families, our members and by extension the NHS that we were clear that this was the responsible step to take.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

2 April 2020

There's Never Been a Better Time to Join a Wine Club

A well-chosen selection of wines delivered right to your door every week or month? Sounds pretty good these days. 

Fortunately, there are a number of excellent wine clubs out there, and many of them are embracing the American drinking public’s expanding palate. From clubs that are run by respected online retailers to selections curated by boldface names in the wine industry, this is a good time to reconsider what wine clubs have to offer.

Here are nine of the best, all worth serious consideration, listed alphabetically.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

1 April 2020

Creative Wine Tasting: Building Community, Virtually

In this time of social distancing, quarantining and sheltering in place, wine-lovers’ plans are getting a bit thin. We’re cooking at home, we’re dipping into our cellars for special bottles, and we’re grateful for clear ways to stay safe and healthy. And for those of us who find joy in the wine community — visiting tasting rooms, chatting with winemakers, touring vineyards and wineries — a number of wineries and wine purveyors, large and small, are pivoting quickly and gracefully to creative ways of giving us access to all those things. Here are four experiences to consider when planning your next wine tasting.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

1 April 2020

World's Largest 2-Day Online Wine Sale Featuring Over 700 Wines - Marathon Madness!

Napa-based Last Bottle Wines the online retailer known for its daily deals of up to 30-70% off retail on fine wines will hold its largest-ever online "Marathon Madness" wine sale Thursday, April 2nd, 9AM PDT, and will donate $1 per order to Napa Food Bank and Napa Valley Community Foundation 

They believe the world needs wildly well-priced wine now more than ever. The2-day Marathon Madness wine sale, typically held 2-3 times per year, has become an obsession for wine drinkers since its founding in 2011.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

30 March 2020

How to Support Your Favorite Wineries During the Pandemic

The wine business is a social industry. It's always been built on relationships between wineries, wine lovers, and all the places where people can buy and enjoy wine. That solid foundation is now in jeopardy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here is an extensive list of virtual tastings, promotions, and other ways you can help the wineries you love during this difficult time.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

30 March 2020

South African wineries will be allowed to finish the 2020 harvest and work in their cellars after winemaking processes were deemed “essential” right before a lockdown came into effect in the country.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

30 March 2020

It’s Go Time — How to Choose A Winery E-Commerce Vendor

With the world upside down and all traffic to winery tasting rooms on pause, many wineries are quickly moving towards e-commerce. However, with so many vendors in the industry, it can make finding the right one daunting. Here are a few tips when choosing a wine industry e-com partner.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

30 March 2020

Wine Suffers as New York Restaurants Close

In the Big Apple, the silence of the glassware is deafening.

With restaurants and wine bars forced to close their doors across New York, the future of the city’s food and beverage industry rests in uncertainty. Here’s what local business owners are doing to spread awareness, build team morale, and above all, stay positive and work towards recovery in this trying global pandemic.

Read the complete news HERE



27 March 2020

Despite lockdown in France, Gabriel Meffre launched Rosé Primed For Summer

Rhône Valley winery Gabriel Meffre has launched a range of brightly-coloured rosé bottles in time for summer sales. Called “Inspiration by Gabriel Meffre”, the series offers rosé in a bottle available in six colours,”forming a case with a very collectable style.” A range of brightly-coloured, tactile wine bottles which are “inspired by Provencal patterns creates an incomparable bottle with an ultra-chic appearance.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

27 March 2020

E. & J. Gallo's Barefoot Wine Donates $100,000 to Help Children of Restaurant Employees

Read the complete news HERE.

-----------------------------------

26 March 2020

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Institute of Masters of Wine has had to cancel the 2020 exam, which normally takes place in June.

While some may have hoped that it would be possible to postpone the exam until later in the year, due to the uncertainty of the efficacy of attempts to control the spread of Covid-19, and the challenge of marking student papers by the end of the year, the IMW has opted to cancel the 2020 exam altogether.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

26 March 2020

Top 10 wine-related shows to stream while in self-isolation

If you’re looking for some escapist viewing to whisk you into the picturesque wine heartlands around the world we’ve compiled a list of great wine television series and films to see you through.

There’s an almost endless source of educational and entertaining programmes out there but when it comes to wine the following list, comprising acclaimed documentaries and Hollywood hits,

Get the list HERE

-----------------------------------

26 March 2020

What Wineries and Distilleries Can Do In Next 60 Days.

Webinar by Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network.

Sid will be listing out ways how wineries and distilleries can face the current scenario and come on the winning side once hashtag#Covid19 subsides. In the webinar, you will get 15 takeaways you can start working on today to navigate this time. You will also be shown the current risks, so you can prepare your winery or distillery for that.

Webinar Date and Time: 1 pm EST, 10 April

Register here 

-----------------------------------

24 March 2020

How has the Coronavirus affected wine stores and wine buying?

“Sales have been good, stronger than normal for this season,” Jim Nejaime, owner of Spirited Wines in Lenox, said last week. “Of course due to folks stocking in, since many more are spending much more time at home, not able to go out to dine, etc.”

But Nejaime noted that the Coronavirus has resulted in "lost social opportunities for folks getting together however, means less consumption than if they could gather. So reduced sales there.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

24 March 2020

PLCB: Wine, liquor sales set record day before state stores closed

The PLCB reported about $29.9 million in sales on March 16, the day the state announced it would close its 598 commercial locations and 13 licensee service centers. Online sales stopped at 5 p.m. March 16.

More than $20.3 million in sales were recorded the following day, St. Patrick’s Day. The stores have been closed since 9 p.m. March 17.

Prior to the coronavirus-related sales surge, the highest sales day in the past year was Nov. 27, 2019, the day before Thanksgiving, when sales totaled $19.6 million

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

24 March 2020

A New Way To Buy Wine: The ‘Digital Shelf Is Different’

Jackson Family Wines, based in Sonoma, California has entered a partnership with digital planning service eMeals.

With an eMeals subscription, users access a range recipes created and curated by a professional food team and registered dietitians. subscribers can also find a suggested wine pairing from Jackson Family Wines and other alcohol brands including AB InBev, Bacardi, Constellation Wines and Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Together, the eMeals and Jackson Family Wines team worked together to select wines with flavor profiles that match the range of meals and ingredients that are presented.

Read the complete news HERE


BTN Survey


23 March 2020

8 wine delivery services to use during lockdown

Buying from independent merchants gives you access to wines that you simply can’t find anywhere else. They champion small, artisan producers who often make wine in such tiny quantities that they’re not viable for supermarkets or restaurant chains to bother with. You can find quirky, fascinating bottles that taste amazing and have a story to tell. And even in these dark days there is someone on the phone or email – working remotely – who can chat to you and advise you on what to buy.

They will deliver to your door or to a nominated safe place and won’t require you to sign anything if you’re in isolation. All they require is that you enjoy the wines.

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

23 March 2020

NZ will move into lockdown during wine industry's 'most crucial' time

As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern takes New Zealand into Alert Level 3, the wine industry may be halted at its "most crucial" time of the year. 

Ardern has announced all non-essential businesses must close within the next 48 hours, as well as schools. After that, it will increase to Alert Level 4, due to Covid-19.

Read the complete news HERE


BTN Survey


20 March 2020

7 places to buy wine online

Hosting large gatherings may be out of the question right now, but sometimes having a quiet night in is enough of an occasion to break out a bottle of wine — and even better if you don't have to leave the house to get it. Online options require minimal energy but deliver on all the perks. Check out the list below of the places that will deliver wine straight to your door. 

Read the complete news HERE 

-----------------------------------

20 March 2020

Technology Connects Wineries And Consumers Through Virtual Wine Tastings

Virtual wine tastings aren’t exactly new, but they are expanding. They’ve been a touchstone for wine geeks for quite some time.

An article published in the French newspaper LeMonde calls this concept “Skypéro,” blending the word apéro—an early evening moment in French culture set aside to share a drink with friends and family—with the tech connector Skype. It’s catchy, but the idea also has teeth for wineries and wine regions that don’t want to drain their relationships with customers and guests in this time of separation.

Read the complete news HERE 


BTN Survey


19 March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has forced restaurants to shutter and lay off employees. But chefs and sommeliers are getting creative to serve customers and rally the industry

At Valette, a popular restaurant in Healdsburg, chef-owner Dustin Valette and his brother and business partner Aaron Garzini have reduced their number of tables by half. They have also reorganized the dining room to create at least six feet of space between tables.

The restaurant is taking additional measures such as requiring staff to wear latex gloves and clean surfaces and tables regularly in line with recommended protocols. They are also providing additional hand sanitizer by the door.

Read the complete news HERE 

-----------------------------------

19 March 2020

For when you'd like a bottle of wine, but you also don't want to leave your house.Here are the the 10 best alcohol delivery services

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can now have an entire liquor store accessible at your finger tips. So, make like Olivia Pope and sit on your couch with a glass (or bottle) of wine. 

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

19 March 2020

Northern California wineries pivot, offering deep discounts, virtual tastings, free deliveries. Tasting rooms are closed, but here’s how to keep sipping and swirling from home

As a sixth-generation winemaker, Livermore’s Steven Mirassou has had to wear many hats in his small business. Delivery man hasn’t been one of them. But in the coming days, you might spot Mirassou loading up his Toyota truck and delivering bottles of Steven Kent cabernet sauvignon to doorsteps around the Tri-Valley.

“My main goal as a person is to take care of others,” Mirassou says. “We are fundamentally a hospitality business and we want to do that in a safe and responsible way and hopefully add a little bit of joy to people’s lives through wine.”

Read the complete news HERE

-----------------------------------

19 March 2020

Italian Wine Producers - How They Are Dealing With Coronavirus

While all this is happening, vintners must attend to the springtime labors in their vineyards; this is necessary work that has the advantage of giving the producers something to take their minds off the crisis. “We are lucky, we live in the countryside,” remarks Daniela Rocca of the Albino Rocca winery in Barbaresco in the Piedmont region. “Spring is approaching and our vines need our care and work in the vineyards. This is allowing us to stay outside and to enjoy the beauty of our region, trying not to think at the nightmare we are living.”

While these wine producers, along with their colleagues throughout the country face an incredibly difficult time at present - as well as the near future - they have managed to find a positive light at the end of the tunnel.

Read the complete news HERE


BTN Survey