How This Winery Determined Its Pricing

Gervasi Vineyard is popular in the Midwest. The destination winery and resort has restaurants on site that showcase its 30 different wines that feature grapes from Ohio, the Finger Lakes, California, Washington and even Italy.

Even so, General Manager Scott Swaldo said Gervasi does not plan to sell its products through retailers.

The pandemic stimulated online ordering through Gervasi’s website, but Swaldo said the company prefers to sell its wines that way and at the restaurant and resort itself.

“In the early days, our strategy was to study a lot of business models around the country,” Swaldo said. “We do not have any interest or intentions of selling our wines through normal distribution channels. This helps us keep the price point and the margins higher. It creates exclusivity and gives us the opportunity to sell our wines at a higher price point. 

“We charge a higher price for wine that is served on our property than we do for wine that people buy to take home. So if it’s consumed on-site, it’s the best opportunity we have to keep profit margins healthy.”

Prices for Gervasi’s wines range between $17 for some whites to about $45 for some of the red varietals. They give customers who are purchasing bottles to take home an $8 discount on each bottle.

The wines are packaged in heavy bottles with a unique, distinctive shape, and all bottling is done on-site.

“We studied wineries in Ohio and studied local restaurants,” Swaldo said. “If I am producing a high-quality Cab and people are willing to spend $40-50 in a restaurant for it, why would I charge $20? Some people thought we were crazy or a little arrogant, but it’s easier to set your prices high and lower them than to raise them later.

“It’s a boutique, premium product we’re selling. And some of the wineries in Ohio that are making good wines were charging too low, so I think we helped take the price point up in Ohio.

For the most part, the public adapted. When you come here, you’re coming for an exceptional experience, and there’s a price tag for that. We are proud of our wines.”

Photo: Sabrina Hall Photography

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