Vino In My Dino

Short and Sweet...Sort Of

November 3, 2021 09:35

Short and Sweet...Sort Of

Earlier this month my dad Jim asked me to write about the current state of supply and demand along with how it is affecting our operations. With his over 65 years of seeing the ins and outs of the business it would be like him to have me make note of the current situation. He has seen his share of challenges.

Boats WaitingBy now, you’ve most likely seen the image of boats floating on the ocean outside of the Los Angeles port filled with items ranging from holiday merchandise to toys for said holidays, construction, office, and household supplies. The slowdown at the port is causing concern throughout the nation because businesses can’t get to the products they need. And the demand has outstripped supply with many companies who stock the needed items to package our wines. Bottles for our upcoming releases, barrels for aging the wine and many other pieces of the puzzle are all compromised.

And the cost of all of this? Higher prices in all corners of the marketplace. For instance, the price of glass to bottle our 2020 and 2021 vintages doubled in two years. Doubled. The whole situation has a pandemic feel like when the world ran short of toilet paper and hand sanitzer.

Timeliness is another problem we are facing. The time it takes to get wine from our warehouse to our distributor’s warehouse on the East Coast has more than doubled in the last few years-from two weeks to a month-if we are lucky. I recently spoke to our broker in New Hampshire and she told me wine that was shipped from here in early August had an arrival date of October 18! Lack of drivers and consolidation of orders all played into the delay. Let's not even mention the USPS and there are many examples of UPS and Fed Ex taking more time compared to a few years ago to get packages delivered.

Now to the heart of the matter. Wine and the supply from the last two vintages. These growing seasons have been framed by drought and, in 2020 the possibility of smoke damage. What does this mean to you? It means first and foremost we made sure to focus on quality. We had to make some tough decisions when it came to some of our growers. The drought had started to take hold which led up to 40% loss of production. In the 2021 harvest we had textbook perfect weather and a smaller crop as a result of the drought. The loss in fruit was the same as the previous vintage with heightened quality. The upshot for 2020 included not making some of our wines like friends.white, F. Johnson Vineyard Chardonnay, Courage or Wisdom. However the 2021 vintage will have all of these restored!

Don’t we see these patterns in other businesses? For instance, we have all been asked to have patience while we transition from pandemic times to the current time when it comes to services, waiting for a table, or getting a reservation. I can’t imagine being in the shoes of a store manager or restaurant owner depending on the supplies they need to make a living. The good news is somehow we’ll get the glass we need to bottle, the wine will eventually make it's destination, and you'll get to enjoy the wine...when it finally gets to your table.

So taking a page from Jim's book, we take the short and the sweet of every year in stride, inviting you to come along with us.

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