Three Things Experts Say New Vintners Should Do

Are you opening a winery, unveiling a new product line or expanding your business in 2023? Seasoned professionals in the wine industry offered words to live by if you are on the move in the coming year.

Believe in your product

Bogle Family Wine Company CFO Ryan Bogle said to have a fighting chance, you needed to make sure you had a quality product you believed in.

“We’ve always lived by the belief that you must create a quality product that you believe in. Any “words of wisdom” we could offer would be to understand that consumers are always looking for quality products for a good value,” Bogle said. “We always have tried to over deliver with every bottle sold, and that mantra drives nearly every decision we make at the winery to this day.”

Prepare for High Costs and Fewer Customers

Spicewood Vineyards Owner Ron Yates’ first response when asked what he’d tell a vintner opening up shop in 2023 was dry and to the point.

“Good luck,” quipped the longtime Central Texas vintner, who also owns Ron Yates Wines.

Normal everyday tasting room traffic at Yates’ two wineries has slowed down, he said, adding that the wine clubs had continued to grow.

“The challenge over the next year, I believe, will be getting non-wine club members out to the tasting room and spending,” Yates noted. “Our production costs have really risen at the same time that the economy has slowed and people are being much more conservative with their spending habits.”

Be Flexible

Gervasi Vineyard GM Scott Swaldo said entrepreneurs who stay fluid, flexible and adaptable will have an advantage in 2023 over those who’ve made up their minds from the outset.

“If you go into it with ‘This is what I think it should be,’ you might have to adapt,” Swaldo said. “Listen to customers because they’ll tell you what they want. On the staffing side, you might have to flex a bit to find ways to fill positions and get the job done. Work hard and stay with it and weather the storms … because there will be storms.”

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