Terrorism & Wine
It’s easy to sit in our cozy wine country enclave, watch the news of potential terror attacks emanating out of Great Britain and think, well, we are safe in our little world.
However, today’s events could significantly impact the wine industry here in Northern California as well as across the nation.
The Federal government has issued new guidelines for passengers that now make it impossible to carry liquid on to a airplane. There is no word on how long this restriction will last. This doesn’t bode well for winery tasting rooms where many who purchase six or twelve bottles of wine like to carry on their booty rather than check the wine where it will be exposed to a variety of temperatures and not a little jostling.
I spoke with two wineries today and both were very concerned about the impact of the new regulations. Jeff Mayo of Mayo Family Winery who operates five tasting rooms in Sonoma County (and is a client of Wark Communications) said:
"This is certainly going to hurt my business and other wineries. There are lots of people who just don’t want to pay for shipping from the tasting room and prefer to take the wine on the plane with them and put it in the compartment above them. A lot of those people are going to not buy the wine, rather than pay th shipping. It’s a perfect example of how events across the world can hurt small businesses on the other side of the world."
After 9/11 the wine industry, like others related to travel, took a major hit. Tourism and travel was down, people were not buying as much and many tasting rooms saw their sales plummet for a time. That’s not going to happen due to the uncovering of a terror plot in the UK.
However, I think we’ll see tasting rooms lowering their shipping costs to persuade more visitors to buy and ship the wine, rather than not buy at all.
My solution for traveling with wine is called a Wine Kaddy. It’s basically a 12 bottle wine suitcase, made with industrial grade aluminum, and a styrofoam shipper insert. It has a retractable handle and wheels so that it is easy to manage. Yes, a bit bulky, but when you really want to bring wine home from a trip, it’s a great solution. It’s also available in a 6 bottle version and smaller. http://www.winekaddy.com (their site is terribly slow) or at the Bounty Hunter http://www.bountyhunterwine.com/.
Tom–You’re right, tasting rooms and wineries make money on shipping and on charging for styrofoam shippers. Time to give it up so folks can ship wine home!