Monday, August 10, 2020

The Real Threat to Wine Sales is Being Ignored

 


While we've been fighting the Pandemic, another public policy battle surrounding health has been quietly fought in the shadows, the goal of which is to reduce or eliminate wine consumption by painting it as cancerous and unhealthy. This battle has been going on for a very long time, but the wine business hasn't responded or pushed back on the subject for 20 years.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

You Are at the Bottom and Looking for Inspiration


Inspiration is the substance of undiscovered strategies. It can come from almost anywhere if we stay positive and are open to it, but it's the fuel that ignites change.

This pandemic has put many people in the wine, travel, restaurant, and hospitality business on their heals or flat on their backs. 

Being in the cruise business might come to mind as being the worst place to be today, but at least cruise lines can raise money to survive. 

Perhaps the most difficult job today is owning a small travel agency as does my friend Michael Mastrocola at MillenniuM Travel, who many will know because he arranges annual cruises for a host of wineries. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Signup: SVB State of the Industry - Special Edition


On March 23rd, eight days after we closed tasting rooms in California, I posted a blog about crisis management where I suggested for scenario planning, June 1st would be a good guess for reopening. So I was really excited to hear that this past week that we've started the conversation about reopening tasting rooms in California and along the west coast. Perhaps my educated guess might turn out closer to correct than I deserve?

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Post Lock-Down Opportunity for Wineries



The above chart from the USDA is a little cluttered, but the dotted lines show how US consumers have been moving from eating at home, and somewhere around 2011 shifted to eating away from home. Not earth-shattering observations that two-income families with complex schedules moved away from traditional family meals. But why should we care? We should care because an interesting thing has happened with wine demand in the last 7 weeks.

Monday, April 27, 2020

What is Normal in a Post COVID-19 World?



The Coronavirus Pandemic for the wine and restaurant industries has been like getting picked up in a tornado and dropped into the Wizzard of Oz movie but without the welcoming committees. It's been dizzying to see overall demand for wine improve, at the same time premium wineries are fighting for survival. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Crisis Management for Wine Country


I'm not alone when I say that I've never been through anything like this and didn't see it coming. I had no way of imagining such a circumstance: a world-wide pandemic that closes down the US and World economies? While I've seen shelter-in-place orders for regional issues, it's beyond comprehension that this would ever take place in as many countries as we're seeing now, or in the entirety of the State of California and the growing list of other states and regions that have similar orders.

After the string of directives this past week from state, federal and local governments that pounded down our prior realities, I spent time surveying the wine industry landscape and talked to as many people as possible to gain a sense of where we stand. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Canceled: Annual SVB Direct to Consumer Survey



You probably recognize the photo up top of Times Square. I took it this afternoon from a webcam. You might never again see it this empty - or so that's my hope.

The Decision to Cancel