Sunday, October 10, 2021

2021 will be the BEST YEAR EVER for a lot of Wineries!


SVB Wine Conditions Survey

Problems are Opportunities Waiting for Solutions

This is the last week to participate in the Annual SVB Winery Conditions Survey. It will close Friday, October 15th.

There is no information like this available anywhere in the wine business. We take on this initiative annually at a substantial cost, but we give it all away to the industry. This data is used by Associations to apply for grants, by academia for research and in V&E classrooms, as a benchmarking tool for all wineries, and as part of the research we do to prepare the Annual SVB Wine Report. That said, it's impossible for me to provide the information without you dedicating the 15 minutes needed to complete the survey. 

There are always interesting surprises along the way, and this year is no exception. 

As I prepare to begin the writing on the SVB State of the Wine Industry Report, I am aware of many headwinds such as supply-chain problems, fires, smoke, the unprecedented drought, low soil moisture that will be a larger part of 2022, short supply of labor, rising input costs, water rationing, issues with property insurance, dealing with mandated vaccination policies, travel restrictions, and what will likely be declining overall volume sales for the total wine category this year. 

Many doors may be closed right now, but there is always opportunity if you know which door to open. The wind is at our backs from several directions such as a very strong recovery economy, the reopening of tasting rooms and restaurants, a buoyant M&A environment, the easing of COVID restrictions, improving travel and tourism, better National employment statistics, 2021 GDP growth in the 6%+ range, and a stock market that has more than 50 record closes so far this year. 

Consumers have wanted to travel this year and they have money to spend. And with international travel largely closed, stay-cations and domestic tourism have seen a positive bounce, benefitting wine country.

How are wineries faring with this combination of unique challenges and opportunities? Much better than you might think! More than half of the industry reports that this will be one of their better years or even their best year in history (headline slide from the current survey). That said, I know there are some regions and business models doing very well, while at the same time some that are lagging a recovery.

Where are the Opportunities?

That's an important question, right along with a forecast of the depth of any potholes ahead. To get at that information, we need to tear apart the top-level survey, then dig down and sort the data by production size, location, length of time in business, and many other variables to help us with that roadmap. We try and present that in the SVB Annual State of the Industry Report.

This survey is a partnership between the industry and Silicon Valley Bank. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars producing the survey, charts, and information for respondents -  then the annual report. We give it all away for free but we can't do that without your help. 

We need enough responses to have a 95% confidence rating in the top-level results, but with one week to go, we don't have enough responses to do that.

The Survey:

If you own or operate a winery, I ask you to please contribute your information to the data set so our industry can get better information and guidance. 

We can't produce free information like this without you doing your part!

Please note that for the first time, we will only be sending charts and the complete data set to those who fully participate in the survey. We will no longer release charts from the survey that are discussed in the videocast to the general public.  

If you want the information that is derived from the survey, you will need to spend 15 minutes answering the survey.

The survey will be open from September 27 through October 15. It takes about 15 minutes for most to complete, but to prepare, we’ve included [this PDF] as a guide. 

Thank you for supporting this annual initiative that will help us all get a clearer picture of our current state and what lies in front of us.

Participation Metrics

In past surveys, we've been able to exceed 1,000 wineries participating which is roughly 10% of the US Wine Industry. As of this moment on Sunday, October 10th, we are only at 392 responses. Based on the number of wineries in a region from the American Winery Guide, only the Lodi AVA has exceeded 10% participation. 

We could really use your region's help for this final week, and your individual help not only in participating but in promoting the survey to your colleagues in the wine industry.

Again - shooting for 10% participation, here is the chart of current participation rates:

No comments: