SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The wine industry is undergoing dramatic changes to stay alive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lakeland Winery, a small store that specializes in fruit wines, was forced to close this March during the lockdown. They were able to reopen in June, but business was already severely impacted. Lakeland makes a lot of money during festivals over the summer where they win awards for their homemade wines and sell specialty drinks to new customers.
Burak Kazaz, a wine supply chain researcher, said to stay alive, restaurants and wine sellers had to take a more transparent route to keep up sales. Instead of charging per glasses what they paid for the bottle, they’ve started selling them at lower prices.
“I think we’re going to be looking at a substantially different wine industry as a result of this” Kazaz said, “$20 wine is going to be influential. The second thing is the millennials. They didn’t buy wine, but now we see they’re buying”.
Though this summer was hard on sales, the hot, dry weather will result in remarkable wine. High temperatures with little rainfall force the grape vines to draw in nutrients from the ground. These nutrients will help the give the wine better flavors.
Kazaz says that Rieslings this year will be heavily sought after in fine dining establishments.
If the trend of reasonable pricing for nice wine continues, younger generations will continue to buy more than they had in the past and help the wine industry stay alive.