COVID-19 and BC wineries

Mar 25 19:03 2020 Print This Article

Photo: Lorraine and Ted Kane of River Stone Estate Winery

It is clear that the wine touring season that should have started in April in British Columbia will not happen. Most consumers are restricted to their homes in the fight to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

This is very dire news for wineries. Several key sales channels, including sales to restaurants, are seizing up. However, wineries and the BC Wine Institute are moving quickly to revitalize other channels for selling BC wines.

The first response of most wineries has been to offer free shipping of wines to on-line customers. A recent BCWI survey found that 86% of the responding wineries now offer free shipping (most wineries also said that their usual retail channels are holding back from ordering wines).

Online sales may well prove the salvation of the wine business at this time. A recent report from Rabobank, an American bank dealing with agribusiness, said that “E-commerce is exploding across the industry.” The bank reported huge percentage increases in wine sales from both existing winery customers and from new customers.

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About Article Author

John Schreiner on Wine

John Schreiner is Canada's most prolific writer of books on wine. Since his first book in 1984, The World of Canadian Wine, he has written 15, including multiple editions of The Wineries of British Columba, British Columbia Wine Country and John Schreiner's Okanagan Wine Tour Guide.

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