Catoctin Breeze Vineyard is settled in the hills along Route 15 in western Maryland, a few miles north of Frederick and in the vicinity of Camp David.
Amphoras have been used to ferment and age wine for thousands of years. And for thousands of years they served the wine community well. But as winemaking techniques and wine quality have evolved since, say, 6000 BC or so, the technology that goes into making amphoras has failed to keep up.
“If all of the brokers and analysts are correct, we’re heading into another tough cycle for our wine industry,” predicts George Christie, President and CEO of the Healdsburg, CA based Wine Industry Network (WIN). “Tough times affect everyone. But the ones that remain the most unscathed are those trying to stay ahead of the issues and become as educated as possible.”
Challenges are looming for the wine industry on multiple fronts; overall growth is flattening, new generations have a different relationship to alcohol, climate change and wildfires complicate winemaking, while the labor market affected by immigration and cannabis is becoming increasingly competitive.
Third generation grape grower, John Saini and his sons, Brian and Mike, of Saini Farms, wear their farming hearts humbly on their sleeves. There’s little doubt they spend their lives tending to 300 acres of land that has been a precious part of the family, going back to 1917...
Point-of-Sale systems in wineries seem to be a love-hate relationship…many times the hate overcoming the love as the frustrations of adapting to changing and challenging environments puts a strain on winery personnel and the electronic retail and data system that supports their efforts.
Ecommerce is booming in most consumer retail industries, with nearly 80% of US consumers now shopping online, according to Pew Research. This has caused the world of digital marketing to explode as major retailers rush to find ways to engage with consumers online. The wine industry is no different, with many US wineries enhancing their websites and adopting digital marketing tactics to attract consumers. So how much progress has been made?
For wineries seeking answers and comparisons, there are two major reports available which can give insights into sales and marketing trends and tactics. Released in May 2019, VinterActive’s VinQuest Report is based on a survey of wineries returning a total of 110 surveys from across the nation (although a preponderance came from CA).
Winery marketing can be tough. As well as competing against other wineries, you also need to stand out against wine retailers; both on and offline. As a result, wineries need to develop strong brand awareness, customer engagement and a loyal customer base.