A Guide for the Overwhelmed The Wine Economist
I've been thinking about what the global wine industry will look like when 2020 finally comes to an end and I feel overwhelmed. So many challenges. So much to digest. Maybe you also feel overwhelmed? I searched the internet for "Tips for the Overworked" and, well, that just made it worse. So much advice for […]

I've been thinking about what the global wine industry will look like when 2020 finally comes to an end and I feel overwhelmed. So many challenges. So much to digest. Maybe you also feel overwhelmed?

I searched the internet for "Tips for the Overworked" and, well, that just made it worse. So much advice for so many problems. One website had 44 ideas on what to do when you feel overwhelmed. Too much!

Here's what prompted those thoughts. Rabobank Stephen rannekleiv and I will have a conversation on the state of wine affairs on November 4 in the first in a series of webinars on the challenges and opportunities for wine. The webinars aim to develop ideas that will be discussed at WineFuture 2021, a major virtual conference on the global wine industry scheduled for February 23-25, 2021 (Use the links to learn more about the webinar schedule in development and the upcoming conference.)

Pre-existing conditions

My coping mechanism has always been to break issues down into components, which may be a bit easier to deal with, and then try to put them back together. Here is the breakdown column where I will take a look at the challenges facing the wine industry. Next week's Wine Economist will try to put things back in place. As always, use the comments section below to suggest things that I left out or got wrong.

As we entered 2020, global wine faced a number of serious challenges, including ...

Long-term stagnant demand for wine. As I noted in 2019 (in a column titled The lost decade of global wine), the relatively strong growth in global demand for wine in previous years peaked around 2007-2008 and has been relatively stagnant since then. (See OIV data above.) There are a variety of demographic and economic theories for this condition, but the important fact is that no major wine region (except perhaps New Zealand ) cannot be convinced today that increasing demand will smoothly absorb increased production.

In a way, the positive-sum game of the past has been replaced by a zero-sum situation depending on the definition of the market. It's a big change.

The US wine industry entered 2020 with plenty of wine in vats and stagnant overall demand. Although the income from wine sales increased slightly, due to premiumization, the sales volume, especially at lower prices, decreased. Younger generations of consumers were not catching up, as baby boomers were cutting back on their consumption. Hard seltzer and similar products accounted for the bulk of alcoholic beverage sales growth.

The challenges of climate change. The supply of the global wine industry is increasingly affected by climate change, both the global warming that we normally think of when 'climate change' is mentioned and also the increased instability of the weather conditions that affect it. 'accompanied. The global wine grape harvest in 2017 was the lowest in a generation due to inclement weather conditions in key regions, for example. The 2018 harvest was however abundant. Meanwhile, world temperature records continue to be set year after year.

The bottom line is an upward and downward trend due to climate change in a general environment of oversupply and rapidly changing growth conditions.

Perfect Storm 2020

The events of 2020 (so far) have added additional challenges and headwinds. The main events are ...

The coronavirus pandemic and the chain changes. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on public health is the most important thing, of course, but closures and lockdowns designed to reduce contagion have also significantly disrupted wine sales channels. There has been a major shift in where people are located, with home work replacing local work for many. Home was also the default location for those who lost their jobs due to closures, had reduced their working hours, or simply needed to be home to care for family members, including engaged children. in distance learning.

Eating and drinking are no longer at home. Bars and restaurants have been ordered to close or, if allowed to remain open, have seen a drop in customer numbers. These factors have led to a dramatic change in channel for wine sales, with on-site sales being replaced by booming off-site sales. Overall wine consumption has decreased little or not at all, depending on the location, but the composition of demand has changed, particularly by favoring high-volume brands. Wineries that were disproportionately dependent on cellar door and on-site sales were forced to quickly switch to direct-to-consumer sales and other channels.

The recession and economic policies. Fear of contagion and the policies needed to protect public health have created a global recession. A heroic economic recovery in many regions has mitigated the short-term impact of the initial economic crisis, but it is uncertain whether the recovery can be sustained as the health crisis continues.

There has been a lot of talk about the “shape” of the recession, with optimists anticipating a short V-shaped slowdown and pessimists fearing a long Japanese L-shape. At this point, the two forms that seem most relevant are W - initial decline and recovery followed by a second wave of decline - and K - rapid recovery in some sectors such as finance but continued decline in others, increasing inequalities economic.

Needless to say, the demand for wine is conditioned by who has lost or earned income, how much and how they see the future.

Joker cards

Every major wine region has wild cards which make the situation more complex. Chile faces social unrest, for example, and Argentina faces financial risks as it walks a tightrope between defaulting on international debt and the domestic financial crisis. Australia has entered its first recession in a generation and is finding relations with China, a key market, under unwanted pressure.

Europe and the UK appear to be locked in a deadly Brexit spiral with wine caught in the middle. Wine is also in the crossfire of the EU-US trade war, with US tariffs in retaliation for Airbus subsidies, followed by European tariffs in retaliation for Boeing subsidies.

Wild cards abound in the United States, starting with the wildfires in wine country and ending with elections, which have dragged all subjects into culture wars. What a mess! Forest fires, which seem to become more destructive each year in terms of direct impacts on vineyards and cellars, smoke odor problems for grapes and wine, and the impact on wine tourism operations.

American winemakers are also eager to hear how the Constellation-Gallo deal, which is expected to conclude in November, will play out. The deal ends in a wine market environment that looks very different from the first conclusion.

Add all of these factors together and, well, it's no wonder you're feeling overwhelmed. No matter where you are in the wine world or where you stand in the supply chain, you are facing change and challenges on many fronts. Tune in next week when I start a short series of columns that attempt to determine what the future may hold.


We would recommend either Wineworks Premium or Wineworks Superior as your first 30 Bottle Kit Wine. Both of these ranges are designed to produce a good quality wine that is ready to drink within 2-4 weeks but will benefit if left up to 6-8 weeks. Furthermore, they also have a great selection of wines to choose from.

If you’ve never made wine before or you simply don’t have any of the equipment or ingredients any longer then you could purchase one of our bundles. These bundles allie all the required equipment along with your prefered wine pack so that you can have everything delivered to your door and just get started. The Wineworks Superior Starter Bundles are a great choice if you want to keep the equipment budget down but still choose the quality of wine you’d like to go for. Whereas, the Wineworks Luxury Starter Bundles offer a better quality equipment pack and still let you choose from a great choice of wine kits.

The two most important critères of making wine are Cleanliness and Temperature. Firstly remember everything that comes into contact with the wine should be cleaned and sterilised ( see below ). Secondly maintain a constant temperature between 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ). It is much better to be on the cool side and constant than hot one minute and cold the next. Airing cupboards are definitely no, no’s. ( See below )

Clean and sterilise all equipment. Here’s a selection of Sterilisers you can use and if you not quite sure which steriliser to go for then you can take a look at our Beginners Wine Making Part 1 - Cleaning, Sterlising

Wineworks Superior wines : These usually take 10-15 days to ferment, and a further week to clear. Again the wine can be drunk immediately but we recommend ageing it 4 weeks but you can leave it up to 12 months. The time you will leave it will depend very much on your stocks. So get plenty built up. The reds benefit more than the whites with ageing. Certain packs ( see the list below ) are suited more to the experienced wine maker and take around 4 weeks to ferment and then left for a further 2 weeks. These products does really benefit from ageing. All the packs we list in this section require little ageing.

As it’s new to you it will probably take in all 2 hours for your first batch. However, once you are used to it 1 hour is about the maximum amount of time needed. We would also point out bar the bottling side; it takes just as long to make 6 bottles as it does to make 30 bottles, so we strongly recommend you make the larger quantity. After all 6 bottles doesn’t go very far as we said before !

From our experience it is much better to maintain a constant temperature than a fluctuating one. We suggest 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ), although if it is cooler than this, it is not a problem, it just takes slightly longer to ferment. If you can’t maintain this then we supply three different forms of heating equipment : Brew Belt / Heat BeltThis is a simple insulated electric cable that wraps round your container and provides a gentle heat. It is very souple and extremely easy to use. Heat Tray ( 4 demi/5 Gallon Fermenter ) This is like a flat tray that provides a gentle continuous heat that goes under the fermenter. Immersion HeaterThis drops into the container, through the bung and can be thermostatically controlled to maintain the juste temperature. Similar to a fish tank heater. All these can be added to our starter kit packages. See our film showing the variétés of heating equipment available for your fermentation.

It is important to clean

If you’ve made it this far, hopefully understanding a bit of what we’ve said, then you’ll want to know how much it will cost to get started ! As you may have noticed, we’ve put together a couple of equipment packs which include everything you need, and take the confusion out of buying. You can make your first 30 bottles of Wine for approximately £65. 00. That’s all in ( Equipment

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