The numbers from Community Benchmark aren't pretty. In the first quarter of this year, data from 523 wineries in California and Oregon show:
- Overall YTD DTC sales are down -7.9% vs. 2022. (+7.7% vs 2021)
- Visitors YTD are down -21.3% vs. 2021 (+31.6% vs. 2021)
- Overall YTD Tasting Room sales are down 15.4% vs. 2022 (+31.7% vs. 2021)
- Wine C lub total YTD sales were down -3% vs. 2022 (+11.8% vs. 2020)
- Phone sales YTD were down -19.6% vs. 2022 (-34.7% vs. 2021.
- Online sales were down 14.7% vs. 2022 (-32.6% vs. 2021)
These figures include data from 523 Central Coast, Lake County, Lodi, Mendocino, Napa, Oregon, Sierra Foothills, Sonoma, Temecula, Walla Walla (WA), Woodinville wineries.
What's behind all this red ink? Wine's sales have been slipping for several years, but a 15.4% decline isn't a slippage – it's a plunge. We think it may reflect two things: (1) the return of beer to a growth track, and (2) the economy. While Washington continues to tell us employment numbers look wonderful, it also tells us there are a large number of people who are unemployed.