It is time to look back on 2009 and look into the future for 2010 at the January Women for WineSense event. In May 2009, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) made its industry predictions for 2009, see the 2009-2010 State of the Wine Industry Report, which pointed to several game-changing factors. A new report titled, What will 2010 bring for fine wine sales?, looks at how their predictions fared and what they see in store for the next 12 months.

The good news is wine consumption in the U.S. continues to increase. The recession appears to be close to hitting bottom, and SVB predicts that the worst of the trade inventory corrections by distributors and restaurants are over. Recent Nielsen numbers predict flat sales at best. Read more…

SVB predicted that distributors would continue to edge out smaller wineries. Are you a family owned winery? Tell us about your experience working with distributors in 2009? Are sales shifting from trade-based to direct-to-consumer for small wineries?

While AB 1470 (see previous post)  has given wineries more leeway to reach out to consumers and sell wine by the glass, 2010 could see wineries grappling with issues ranging from water shortages to the sin tax to adopting new technologies that will allow wineries to reduce costs with regard to compliance regulations, e-commerce, or harvesting techniques.  While wine sales are paramount to survival in this industry, the most imminent situation may very well be the precarious water supply and drought conditions facing California growers, which may redefine the rules for the future (more discussion on this to come).

The SVB report suggested that the baby boomers were on their way out as the top wine spenders due to loss of wealth in their home equity and retirement accounts.  If wine consumer demographics are shifting, are wineries following suit and focusing marketing efforts on the non-baby boomer generations?

To paraphrase Rob McMillian of SVB, “Are you defining the new normal or waiting for the old normal to return?

Join us for the January WWS event on Thursday 1/21/2010 from 5:45pm-8:15pm at Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery where we will be discussing “One Year Later: Wine at the White House and Other Legislative Updates.” Speakers will discuss legislation and industry issues to include

  • Jared Huffman, CA Assembly Member District 6
  • Representing Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey’s office, US Representative District 6 will be Tom Roth
  • Grant Raeside, Executive Director of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance
  • Cyril Penn, Editor in Chief Wine Business Monthly
  • Representing Assembly Member Noreen Evans, District 7, will be Laurie Puzo

Click here to register.

Post author Leah McNally, WWS Intern

Editor Thayne Cockrum, WWS Communications Director