As we enter 2020, it certainly feels like the wine industry (and not only the wine industry) is sitting on the knife’s edge, finely balanced between success and failure. The wine industry has enjoyed incredible growth over the past 40 years along with improvements in wine quality and the availability of interesting wines. There has never been a better time to be a wine lover.
Wine regions from Adelaide Hills to Sonoma to British Columbia are threatened with yearly forest fires, a threat that is likely to get worse as temperatures soar and wind storms proliferate.
Wine sales have slowed in the face of competition from spirits and lagging interest from millennials.
Bone-headed tariffs may soon put the world’s best wines out of reach of ordinary Americans and threaten the livelihood of countless importers and retailers.
The long bull-market supported by low interest rates and stock buybacks has probably run its course.
All of which pales against the fact that this year we cast a vote for democracy or fascism.
I have no crystal ball so I won’t bother with predictions.
But I sure hope that this time next year I can write that this feeling of dread was unnecessary.