Wine: Profitability top wine business concern, survey says

Profitability is the top concern this year for wine industry professionals, according to a University of California, Davis, survey prepared for the 20th Wine Industry Financial Symposium, to be held  at the Napa Valley Marriott hotel in Napa on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 19 and 20. The event typically attracts several hundred industry and financial services professionals.

[caption id="attachment_38857" align="alignright" width="403" caption="One of the questions Dr. Robert Smiley, professor emeritus of the U.C. Davis Graduate School of Management, asked 132 wine industry professionals this year in an annual survey for the Wine Industry Financial Symposium was,"][/caption]

Of 132 responses to an annual survey and analysis by Dr. Robert Smiley, professor emeritus of the Graduate School of Management, "profit margins" ranked the most significant wine business trend, garnering virtually a 4 on a five-point scale. Other major factors, in order of ranking, were "cost of materials" including fuel, "pricing pandemonium: Can I raise prices?" "distribution," "new consumer values and how to work with them" and "inflation."

The theme for this year's symposium is "Flexibility in the Global Marketplace."Afternoon seminars that Monday will touch on tasting room management, vineyard management, wine company valuation, trends in equity and debt financing and direct-to-consumer sales metrics.

Speaking on global changes in the businesses during the Tuesday symposium will be Jean-Charles Boisset, president of Boisset Family Estates, whose recent acquisitions include Buena Vista Carneros and Raymond Vineyards. John Gillespie of Wine Market Council and Wine Opinions will be presenting new marketing research.

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