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Reply to "Please support your favorite wineries."

Thanks, Juicy, for the original post. I'm sure the sentiment is appreciated by all the vintners on the board.

Folks should follow and read Paul's link to the Stefania blog. He describes the situation fairly accurately.

2008-2009 was awful for folks at my price point and above. The number of direct customers fell, but the real carnage was in the wholesale channel. Stores and restaurants seemed to just stop buying wine. The outlets that stayed in business were living off inventory. I thought my distributors lost my phone number. That market has not picked up much for us. Occasionally I am asked about my percentage of direct to wholesale sales. I give what at first sounds like an attractive number. However, that lopsided figure is the result of wholesale disappearing. Not good.

Our regular, direct customers have been awesome. They have stuck with us and continue to spread the word. The situation now is that there just isn't enough of them and folks are hesitant these days to try something new at our price point. Basically, and the wine industry is not alone in this, the recession served to whack us all over the head and knock us down the mountain we were climbing by several years in brand/customer building. Those of us who have been able to survive financially just have to start again, and as Paul alluded to, at lower production levels.
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