Winery Visitation Down 48 Percent in Four Key Regions in August - Community Benchmark
October 07, 2020
Considering that 2020 brought stay-at-home orders with tasting rooms being closed before reopening with outdoor seatings, and that there were early wildfires in much of California in August, it isn't surprising that direct sales are down, although some wineries have seen improved ecommerce sales.
However, given all that, it's surprising that DTC sales are only down by 11 percent year over year, at least among wineries that participate in the Community Benchmark project. Wineries pivoted to ecommerce, tasting room wine pickups - even to delivering wine.
According to Community Benchmark, Sonoma Valley winery visitation was down 62 percent year on year compared to August 2019. Sonoma Valley made strides in online and phone sales, however.
Napa Valley saw visitation drop 56 percent year-over-year in August, while Mendocino saw visitation fall just 26 percent.
Paso Robles had strong July and August visitation but fell behind the other California regions in digital sales growth, Community Benchmark reported, adding that Paso Robles saw year-over-year revenue declines of 19%.
Amador County, another region that participates in the Community Benchmark project, spent early summer a bit behind in DTC sales compared to the prior year, but for the first time since April was showing more year-over-year growth than other regions.
Community Benchmark uses algorithms to measure the relative success of tasting rooms within a geographic area, anonymously sharing personalized metrics with each participating winery.