Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Picking A Side In the Napa Winery Fight

No it's not Monday when I normally post. I got inspired midweek from Tom Wark who wrote a piece yesterday in his Fermentation Daily Wine Blog entitled Critics of the Napa Valley Wine Industry are Losing Badly. It's a passionate opinion piece of the goings-on in Napa County politics which are overheated with rhetoric. (Rhetoric | rhet·o·ric \ˈre-tə-rik\: language that is intended to influence people and that may not be honest or reasonable.)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bottle Prices Are Going Up in 2016

How much does this wine cost?

The Annual Wine Conditions Survey is open and delivering interesting early information on supply, price, and many other interesting questions. The survey closes next week but after the first week, almost 300 of your fellow wineries have invested 12 minutes. Why take the survey when we are all busy? Because participants are the only ones who will get complete results.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Open: 2016 Survey of Wine Conditions

Take the survey
Take the Survey
What's really going on in the wine business this moment? Can wineries raise prices? What's the supply situation in the Central Valley? Is there good land available for planting anywhere? Where is there too much supply? With the crush in the tanks now, winery owners are starting to think about 2016 and making plans.
I started researching for the Annual State of the Wine Industry Report in August and have a good idea what it's going to look like already, but I always like getting another layer of information of the current situation. So for the past decade now, I've led a survey of the current conditions in which more than 600 wineries and the major AVA's from across the country participate every year.
Ten years since we started this, I'm told by winery owners that new surveys now show up in email boxes every week. Thankfully I'm consistently told, "We look for your survey and make sure to participate." Why are we so lucky to get this kind of participation? I think there are a few reasons but bottom line, we keep the information anonymous, we aren't selling the information, and we give back more than we take.
The survey takes about 10 minutes and in exchange, we send without cost the complete survey results, dozens of relevant graphs, and our early analysis on wine industry conditions. [Last year's survey results].
Note the results this year will be released in early December only to those who participate in the survey. Ready to take the survey? Click on the link below.

Take the Survey

Monday, August 24, 2015

Will a Stock Correction mean Lower Wine Sales?

One year ago Monday, I woke to a bit of a shaking. Having been 18 miles from the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, I was experienced enough to recognize this wasn't a run-of-the-mill quake, and in fact for me, this was far worse than Loma Prieta. I live on the fault line rupture and while Loma Prieta was far more widespead and longer, it was also deep and there was no surface rupture. This one was very shallow and far more violent if you live in southwest Napa.

Friday, August 14, 2015

What? Locals Overwhelmingly LIKE the Wine Industry

      Doesn't Everyone Hate The Wine Business?

While Napa is the current poster child for the debate, whether Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Oregon, Virginia, Paso Robles, or the San Joaquin Valley - the wine business has received it's share of public scrutiny the past few years in local press. While "wine country" is viewed by many as an idyllic place to live or retire .... certainly so if you read listings from local real estate agents, that view isn't shared by a non-homogenous mix of anti-winery folks in what is now being labeled in an on-going story of the greedy and detached winery owners and growers versus their communities.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wine Business Data Hack: Resources Edition

A Technical Issue?

I spent an inordinate amount of time over the July 4th weekend on the Blog that was released on Monday which discussed the pilfering of 250,000 credit card records from eCellars.

I got so focused on understanding this situation I got a little freaked out yesterday when my company laptop didn't work right, my cell phone started freezing and nobody could hear me when I called, my home internet seemed to be operating at 10% of normal, and then the car battery died. WHAT IS GOING ON? .... just a bad day of negative coincidence?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

250,000 Credit Cards Stolen in Wine Industry Hack

ECommerce Payments
I've always thought the wine industry should be the most uninteresting industry for cybercrime. Wineries have lots of inventory to steal, but anyone who works in this business knows there isn't much cash to take. It all gets used up in barrels, bottles, inventory and facilities.

Who and even more to the point, why would anyone bother to hack into a winery? It's not like there are any huge IP secrets to take. North Korea doesn't care about the 2015 vintage. Chinese spies have to get paid more to focus on our Government's and defense contractor's systems rather than messing with wineries I'd think. Pre-pubescent teenagers trying to hack winery computer systems would have more fun trying to hack celebrities personal sites or play World of Warcraft. That's where young people can really experience virtual power and control.

Besides, the wine business is really a bitty industry; one full of mom and pop shops. So why would anyone bother to try and hack into a winery when there seem to be so many other far more interesting and larger industry targets out there to probe?

That question is no longer academic because today - right this second, hundreds of people in probably 100 separate companies are cleaning up after the personal information of 250,000 winery customers was hacked in a recent data breach. [i]

This is a really big deal. While I've heard no mention of the cost of this, it has to easily be millions of dollars in the aggregate given the number of businesses and impacted people who are cleaning up the mess thus far. And those losses are before considering any fradulent credit card purchases which may have happened or may still happen.