Jason Haas, partner and General Manager at Tablas Creek always has something thoughtful to say about wine and the wine industry. Yesterday he posted his thoughts on which of the changes wineries have made to cope with Covid 19 will endure.
As you might expect, the enduring changes are those that eliminate the need for travel.
–Thanks to sample packaging and zoom meetings, wine producers won’t have to go traipsing around the country to participate in trade tastings.
–Customers needn’t wait for their vacation to wine country to interact with their favorite winemaker when the winery can schedule online live events via Facebook and Instagram.
–Customers are now in the habit of purchasing wine online and the convenience of e-commerce makes it unlikely they will unlearn those habits.
–Winery visits by appointment only are more efficient and enhances sales.
–It’s all upside and no downside to continuing to allow restaurants to sell wine to go. [He’s confident politicians will agree. I don’t know about that]
What’s odd is that all of these policies were available before the pandemic. It’s hard to kill old habits until forced into it.
What will not survive, according to Jason, are virtual tastings (boring) and cheap wine shipping (too costly for producers)
And there is no substitute for wine festivals once we’re comfortable with crowds. (Will that be sometime this century?)
This all sounds about right. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of dreaming now and then.
Thanks Dwight! I absolutely agree that most of these were things that people could have done in the “before” time, but periods of crisis always accelerate change, and this one is no exception. I know we’d been talking about using some of the live functionality of our social media for years, but it took losing our tasting room to force us to figure them out.
Regarding the restaurants and to-go alcohol, it’s always hard to take something away once it’s a part of the fabric (and people’s expectations). That’s why so few states “leveled down” with direct shipping when they were forced to treat in-state and out-of-state wineries equally. I’m guessing that there will be a few places where either the neoprohbitionists or package stores will push through a revocation of these new permissions, but that the vast majority will stick around. I hope so.
Thanks for sharing my piece.
Thanks for commenting. The neo-prohibitionists are relentless. I hope you are right.