Seasons Greetings and a Message from Dan
As we close out this extraordinary year, I’d like to take just a minute to reflect on 2020 and offer a few thoughts on the coming year.
We all know that the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have touched every corner of our personal lives and local business communities. The Pacific Northwest wine industry has been no exception.
Restrictions on travel and public gatherings have had a profound effect on wineries that rely heavily on in-house tastings, bottle and case sales, and special events at their facilities. These restrictions have resulted in challenges that are inescapable for wineries of any size, but have posed a particularly difficult financial burden for smaller, boutique wineries.
The pandemic has forced these wineries to come up with creative and innovative methods to combat the decline in business. And instead of scaling back while their doors have been closed, they have amazingly doubled down on their efforts to reach out to consumers, who in turn, have answered in a way that has been equally remarkable.
Outdoor, undercover tastings with heaters and fire pits are the new norm. Wine club members have stepped up by continuing their memberships and purchasing more wines. By many accounts, on line sales to consumers of all kinds have remained strong.
This is due in large part to wineries that have been offering incredible pricing discounts, cool new products such as gift packages and tasting kits, and cutting or waiving shipping fees. A few winemakers, such as Brian Grasso and Brandee Slosar of Seattle’s Structure Cellars, are even offering to make some of the deliveries themselves. Talk about doing whatever it takes.
Yes, it’s been a lousy year. But the silver lining is the way that both wineries and wine consumers have banded together in an effort to get through this.
So my message is simple: Pacific Northwest wineries, please keep doing what you’re doing, which is crafting some of the best wines in the world at prices that everyone can afford. And consumers, keep supporting your local winery. Dig deep, spend a few dollars, and enjoy some amazing wines in the process. It’s a great way to get through these challenging days while sharing a toast to better days ahead.
Peace, prosperity, and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.