Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Highest Return on Your Time Invested

Each year I get to write a State of the Industry report that's pretty well received in the wine business. Its even used as part of the curriculum in several U.S. Colleges and Universities which my mom thinks is really cool. She thinks I should be given an honorary PhD by one of the Universities but I haven't been able to donate enough money to a place of higher learning so as to receive that kind of recognition. Der Weinerschnitzel is considering offering me a fellowship, but thats still in early discussions.

Anyway ... this year we will be releasing the 2014 Annual Wine Industry Report in January. Before I can write the report, there's a lot of research that has to be done. That process starts with the Annual Wine Conditions Survey. The survey gets us very interesting observations such as the chart to the left that shows Millennials really don't move the needle on fine wine purchases, but Gen X'ers do. 

Or how about the one one at the top of this piece that showed the wineries themselves thought that they could take some small price increases during this past year. Of course that doesn't mean prices would increase because its just the additive opinion of over 450 wineries, and in fact we predicted price increases would be hard to come by in 2013, and they were. What it does tell you is the market participants intentions, and that has to be a factor in considering predictions. 

I would like to ask your winery to participate in the 2014 Wine Conditions Survey. It takes less than 10 minutes. The survey opened last Friday and was sent to 5,000 wineries throughout the US with very good initial participation thus far. There are just 15 survey questions, 4 of which are identifiers such as the region where you produce wine. The remaining 11 core survey questions are geared at understanding vintners' challenges in the present operating environment. We condense the results and those comments then return results, charts, and detail in a non-identifiable manner so winery owners and operators can get a better feeling for what your peers see.  To get a better sense of what you get for your participation, here is a link to what we delivered last year: [LINK]. 

Many of the AVA's encourage their memberships to participate since they receive their own gratis bench marking reports. You might see an email in the next few days from your own association so don't think we are spamming you. If you are on the mailing list, you will get one 'last chance reminder' from us and that's it. We never add people to mailing lists, and never use the survey as a tool for marketing.
While the survey is a Nationwide one, our East Coast brethren and sistern in the business haven't been quite as active as I'd like, so this year we are reaching out to some new AVA's particularly in NY and VA and hoping for a better sample from which we can deliver better regional bench marking. If you are able to help your AVA along those lines, we would appreciate it if you directed them my way.

The 2014 survey will be open through the end of business Friday, November 8th. If you would like to participate this year and receive the free results, you can do so by starting here: [LINK]

If you would like to permanently add your winery to the list for the survey and our State of the Industry publication that follows, please email me at

Feel free to offer any other thoughts you might have in the comments section which follows.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. [Two discrete comments deleted and re-edited as one. ~~ Bob]


    Don't disappoint dear ol’ mom just yet on getting that Ph.D.

    There's always a for-profit "university" out there somewhere:

    Hey, you could follow the lead of NBA retiree Shaq, who "earned" his MBA from the University of Phoenix . . .

    . . . then his Ph.D from Barry University:

    ~~ Bob


Please sign into the community to post. Common-sense guidelines apply: Disagree with author but offer your own thoughts. Disagree with other posters but please attack the post versus the person.

Flaming, spamming, off-topic posts, advertising and offensive posts that would not be suitable for work will probably be deleted. Drunken posts will be forwarded to your mother.