Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
 

Editor's Letter

 

Wine Is Thriving, But . . .

October 2008
 
by Jim Gordon
 
 
The United States government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the weekend before this issue of Wines & Vines went to press. If anyone had been uncertain that a lending crisis was under way before then, the dramatic intervention by the Treasury Department at the two huge private/public lenders put that question to rest.

It seems ironic that the wine industry has been humming along nicely during these otherwise troubled economic times. Despite drastically shrinking home values, an unprecedented number of mortgage defaults, bank failures and an extremely expensive, never-ending war in Iraq, wine people in general have prospered. Wine sales have been very good, prices paid to growers have firmed, and both growers and wineries have invested in their businesses.

But it's important to note in this, our annual Winery & Vineyard Economics Issue, that the recent good times bring no guarantee of a long run. In fact, we know that the wine economy performs in cycles, and that the wheel keeps on turning. So now is the time to plan for the next phase, when grape supply becomes tight after years of surplus, when consumer tastes will continue to grow but may change to different varietals and regions, and when potentially huge issues like immigration/labor could explode with the bang of a gavel in Congress.

One area in which the overall economy has touched our industry is lending. While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not holding a lot of vineyard and winery mortgages, their troubles and the implosion of housing values nevertheless have reverberated in wine country. Lenders in general, and not just those in residential real estate, quickly have gone conservative.

So today, wine businesses that are trailing the pack and need cash to catch up, as well as those that are doing great and need cash to meet larger demand, are sometimes finding it difficult to get help from their traditional lenders. Other sources of funding have noticed this need and are seeking out new business in the wine industry, Paul Franson writes in our cover story (see, "Tapping Money"). He sketches out how four alternate channels for wine industry funding work: specialty banks, real estate investment trusts, mezzanine lenders and private equity. Anyone who is stumped with traditional banking and is unfamiliar with these new opportunities will find Franson's article very helpful.

To get another perspective on the wine industry economy, we sent our Northwest correspondent, Peter Mitham, to the annual conference of the American Association of Wine Economists in Portland (see, "Forecasting Grape Demand"). This newish group is not afraid of controversy and is flexing its muscles by showcasing innovative economic research by its members.

Two views on filtration

Two other articles in this issue are particularly worthy of mention. Both cover the topic of filtration. In the first, Dr. Richard Carey begins a two-parter on his own experimentation with a new filter medium (see, "Depth Filtration vs. Crossflow"). Carey is a new contributor to Wines & Vines but an old hand at winemaking and research. His work for us is a byproduct of our new association with Wine East magazine.

Carey starts by revisiting the differences between commonplace depth filtration using pads or sheets, and the higher-tech crossflow filtration using membranes. Then he breaks the news about a new product that he says will greatly improve depth filtration.

Tim Patterson, the guy with the hat who authors the Inquiring Winemaker column each issue (see, "Inquiring Winemaker"), loves to expose the flaws in winemaking folklore. His modus operandi is to take an accepted adage like, "filtration strips the character out of a wine," and turn it inside out to see if it's verifiably true. In this issue he does just that. Reading his piece and Carey's will provide plenty of food for thought for any reader who hasn't examined his or her filtration practices lately.

I hope you get plenty of useful information from this issue. As always, write me at jim@winesandvines.com with any comments or critiques on how we're covering the wine industry.
 
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
 
SEE OTHER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN ï¿½ CURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 $557 million
5%
$7,577 million
6%
July 2013 $533 million $7,128 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 $61 million
9%
$1,674 million
10%
July 2013 $56 million $1,517 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 312
10%
222
19%
July 2013 283 187
     
 
MORE » Released on 08.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • August 30 - September 1
     
    Columbia Gorge Open House Weekend
     
  • September 5-6
     
    Windy City Wine Festival
     
  • September 11
     
    Women for WineSense "Women in Wine"
     
  • September 12
     
    Direct to Consumer Wine Sales
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Ledger David names first winemaker »
 
What a joy to have Kiley on the team! A lot of exciting things happening...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Useful Spanish for Wine Harvest »
 
you misspelled "zona" under Loading Area
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Early 2014 Grape Harvest Begins »
 
Thanks for mentioning Temecula and the South Coast appellation in your article. It is great...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Importing / Purchasing...
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Customer Service / Adm...
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Visitor Center Represe...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Administrative Assista...
 Santa Rosa, CA
General Administration and
 Assistant General Mana...
 City Of Sonoma, CA
General Administration and
 Tasting Room Associate
 Livermore, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Harvest Help
 Sebastopol, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Customer Service Repre...
 San Rafael, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Business Development M...
 Santa Rosa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Employee
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.