I always love this time of year. Harvest is winding down for many and past mid-point for everyone. Fermentation is moving through the normal process with wine makers trying to control the pace as if they were trying to steer a stage coach careening down a hill. The smell of grape must littering the fields starts to intertwine with the smell of burning wood stoves as the temps start to cool toward the end of the month.
For a data geek like me, starting to get returns from the Annual Wine Conditions Survey is like being a kid at Christmas again opening up presents. (Yes I have a sickness comparing data to presents).
One early chart this year is the one at the headline showing where harvest yields are coming in. What it shows is yields are slightly high but not quite as large as many of us were guessing early. When we get the completed survey and can sort by region, then we should get closer to an overall yield guess.
Another early chart that is referenced in the title of the post reveals a little surprising early view. Expectations of grape purchases are higher than 2014 purchases. The question as asked is do you expect to buy more, less or equal tonnage next year. You would think with all the full tanks, there wouldn't be 36% of early respondents who say they are going to buy more next year! That is a very bullish sign for sure.
At this point, we have about 225 respondents and I'm sure we will get our typical 600 plus wineries responding by the end of the survey this week when the survey closes.
Why do so many wineries respond? I don't think the fact it's free has anything to do with it. I think we get great participation because we've proven to be good stewards with data, using it for the good of the industry and maybe as important, we've garnered a level of trust that we aren't using the data for our own sales efforts. Nobody is added to call or email lists.
But without question a large percentage of the respondents also look forward to the early analysis that only they receive for participating. I believe that helps them in planning 2015 and keeps participation growing most every year we do this.
If you haven't yet participated - its taking respondents on average only about 10 minutes which is a small time investment for the return. I'd appreciate it if you would stop and join your colleagues in furthering all of our understanding of the business and trends. [Link To Wine Conditions Survey]
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