The Wine Analytics Report says that “How Americans purchase and consume wine has changed dramatically in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Deep losses in the on-premise sector, persistent economic uncertainty and increases in online purchasing and homebound consumption appear likely to bring long-lasting changes to the U.S. wine market.” Buying online and drinking at home has increased since the Covid outbreak in January of this year.
The Oregon Wind Board published the “Covid-19 Oregon Wine Industry Toolkit” to point vineyards to resources from national and state organizations with ways to acquire and share ideas for helping the community, the employee and the consumer.
One new strategy purposed for Oregon Vineyards is the idea of a “virtual wine tasting.” This is a presentation about wine that can be accessed only by video and audio and where consumers are not present in-person. The delivery of wine to the consumer is allowed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) if the winery is properly licensed. A winery that would like to sell and ship samples of wine to a consumer and use those samples to conduct a virtual wine tasting must follow all federal laws and rules. The Governor of Oregon has ordered that immediate implementation of social distancing and community mitigation measures are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. The OLCC is making temporary changes to help licensees during this period. The question is will these allowances for off-premise sales and deliveries continue after the Covid Virus is contained.
The impact to the number of visitors to Oregon vineyards in the month of May, 2020 was reported by the National Association of American Wineries. According to their report the average number of visitors expected in May was 741 and the actual was 147. Also, almost 4 events on average were cancelled during this period. 100% of vineyards responding to this survey reported that they have continued production although 32% said their production had slowed. The average financial loss during the period was reported to be $58,570.
A new on-line directory is providing unpaid listings to Oregon vineyards. The editor, Dan Crider, says “Covid has hit Oregon’s vineyards and changed the way vineyards serve the consumer. We at BestOregonVineyards.com are supporting vineyards with free access to our on-line directory.”
Vineyards use several strategies to overcome Covid’s impact including: Wine Club Specials, Reduced Shipping Costs, Curbside Pickup, and Home Deliveries.
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