U S Wineries Estimated March Loss More Than $400 Million

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

Wineries’ March losses could top $400M

A survey conducted by the Wine America trade group found about 10% of U.S. wineries have collectively lost about $40.4 million so far in March — and extrapolated those numbers to assume the entire sector lost more than $400 million this month as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey of about 1,100 wineries also found 4,496 layoffs out of 11,043 employees. The wineries also canceled 4,582 events.

Assuming the respondents were representative of the entire industry, multiplying everything by 10 comes to a total loss of more than $400 million in March, wrote Jim Trezise, president of the trade group. About 85% of U.S. wine comes from California.

The average winery surveyed expected a 75% decrease in visitors to tasting rooms in March, compared with previous years.

On March 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom called for all tasting rooms to be closed as a result of the public health emergency.

The average respondent anticipated a 63% decrease in sales during March.

June viticulture conference canceled

The American Society for Enology and Viticulture canceled its national conference, scheduled for June 15 to 18 in Portland, Oregon, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event also was to host the annual meeting of the group’s eastern section division.

The society in a statement said its board of directors made the call to cancel to prioritize members’ and attendees’ safety and well-being.

Allen Wine Group hires new manager

The Allen Wine Group of Santa Rosa, a financial advisory and accounting firm for the sector, hired Evan Conklin as accounting manager.

Conklin came to the firm after working two years as an accounting manager at Santa Rosa-based internet provider Sonic. He was a controller at Thomas George Estate, where he was responsible for all accounting and finance functions, and also performed accounting services for the wine industry while at Frank Rimerman and Co. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in wine and viticulture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

By Bill Swindell  
March 27, 2020

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