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Unified Wine and Grape Symposium 2021

COVID-19 may be hammering winery tasting room sales says WineDirect data


The Novel Coronavirus looks as if it’s having  a substantial impact on winery tasting room sales.


According to Adrienne Stillman, Marketing Director for WineDirect, “Over the past weekend, we observed a 22% decrease in tasting room sales by volume compared to last month. This confirms the anecdotes we’ve been hearing from wineries: that guests are cancelling reservations and travel plans.”


Stillman said in a March 10 email to Wine Industry Insight, that “the data is from more than 900 wineries across the entire US and in Canada and controls for the higher-than-usual sales over the Valentine’s/President’s Day weekend in mid-February.


“This hit to tourism underscores how important it is for wineries to have a robust online sales strategy, so they can leverage that channel when in-person visits (whether from virus outbreaks, fires or other natural disasters) decline,” she said. “We’ve been proponents of this for years at WineDirect, and it’s only becoming more true.”


Stillman noted that the declines are definitely from tasting room visitor sales because WineDirect tracks orders by:


  • Tasting Room: orders performed via our Point of Sale,
  • Ecommerce: orders entered by a consumer on the website,
  • Wine Club: orders run through a club batch,
  • Other: any order entered on the backend manually by winery employee, such as telesales, private client sales (high-touch VIP orders), and corporate orders.