Wineries

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 11,700 wineries in the US produce and sell a wide range of wines. Wines can be broadly categorized into three groups: still wine, often referred to as table wine; sparkling wine, effervescent wines like champagne; and dessert wine, such as brandy. Most wineries operate their own vineyards for grape production, but may purchase a large percentage of their needs from independent growers.

Industry Consolidation

The wine industry has seen an increase in the consolidation of vineyards and wineries, particularly among smaller, family-owned operations.

Increased Regulation And Taxes

The wine industry is subject to strict, frequently changing federal and state regulations for virtually every aspect of operations, from production to advertising.

Industry size & Structure

The average winery employs 4-5 workers and generates $2.2 million in annual revenue.

    • There are about 11,700 wineries in the US, employing about 58,000 employees, and generating sales of about $24 billion.
    • The 4 largest US wineries, which include E&J Gallo, The Wine Group, and Constellation Wines, generate about 41% of total industry revenue.
    • The wine making industry in the US is characterized by thousands of small, family-owned wine growers and wineries, together with a few very large, sometimes publicly-held, wine conglomerates.
    • The average winery relies on seasonal contract workers for many growing and production related jobs.
    • The top wine-producing states are California, Washington, and New York. In California, about 615,000 acres are devoted to wine grapes, growing over 110 varieties of grapes and producing an average of 3-4 million tons of grapes annually.
    • US export sales of wine exceed $1.7 billion annually to more than 150 countries worldwide.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Wineries Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    Apr 29, 2024 - Winery Count Dipped in 2023
                                    • The number of US wineries declined 1% last year versus 2022, to 11,620, according to WineBusiness Analytics data. Employment by breweries, wineries, and distilleries grew 2.4% in December compared to a year ago, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Employment by wineries is seasonal, peaking in June through October.) Producer prices for wineries rose 2.2% in March compared to a year ago after rising 7.8% in the previous annual comparison, according to the latest BLS data. Consumer spending is supporting higher prices for wine, with personal consumption expenditures prices increasing by 3.4% in the first quarter of 2024 after rising 1.8% in the previous quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
                                    • The volume of wine shipped directly to consumers (DTC) sank 10% in March compared to a year ago after falling 6.5% in 2023 versus the prior year, the second consecutive year of declining volumes, WineBusiness Analytics/SOVOS ShipCompliant reported in April. Meanwhile, DTC shipment value fell 3% year over year to $457 million in March, which is its lowest value since 2020, according to the report. Still, due to higher prices, the average bottle price of shipments climbed nearly 8% versus a year ago to $57.61 – the third-highest average ever recorded. California wineries saw a significant 14.4% drop in winery shipment volume to their customers. WBA noted that non-West Coast US wineries account for a small but active component of DTC shipments. Their value grew 2% in the 12 months ended March to $228.9 million, while volume fell 1% to 792,711 cases.
                                    • The unusually cold, wet, and snowy winter is being credited for the “exceptional” 2023 California grape harvest, with many vintners predicting the 2023 vintage will be one of the finest in years, according to the Wine Institute’s 2023 California Harvest Report. A late start to last year’s harvest had some vintners picking grapes into late November. 2023's weather conditions are expected to produce wines with beautiful flavors, vibrant acidity, and remarkable balance – especially for Tempranillo and Syrah– per the report. After recent years of severe drought in California, last year’s heavy rains helped replenish the reservoirs and nourish the vines, resulting in extra canopy growth that led to 5% to 15% higher yields for most varieties. California produces about 80% of the nation’s wine, making it the world’s fourth-largest wine-producing region, according to the Wine Institute.
                                    • A growing number of wine producers are fermenting grapes, apples, and other fruits together or blending wine and ciders with delicious results, The New York Times reports. Natural winemakers are among the producers experimenting with these innovative beverages, most of which are not yet widely available, according to NYT. (Natural wine, also known as low-intervention wine, is organic wine fermented without additives using traditional winemaking methods.) Natural winemaker Scar of the Sea in San Luis, Obispo, blends different grapes with Newtown Pippin apples each year — Gamay grapes in 2021 and palomino grapes in 2022 – to produce its hybrid blends. Some producers began by making ciders or wines and branched out or formed collaborations, per NYT.
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