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Covid: wineries and restaurants, who wins and who loses

Wine sales grow but the financial reports of small wineries do not. Will Covid19 bring the small wine producers and restaurateurs to sell up to larger ones?


Restaurants-wine-and-covid-how-change-and which-are-the-new-perspectives

Restaurants-wine-and-covid-how-change-and which-are-the-new-perspectives

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

There is a solution to the problem which I am about to address: transform restaurants into places where one can discover wine and food. Give new perspectives to the wine and food artisans of their territory. Is this a dream? No it is an opportunity for everybody.



In US, the consumers buy more bottles (57%) and the large wineries earn bigger shares of the market at the expense of the smaller, which register a decrease in business.

Research done by the Sonoma State University and published by Wine Searcher regards the US, but in fact resembles greatly what I hear from Italian producers.

The analysis done in the US firstly emphasizes the increase in the price of wines bought by retailers. We are talking about only 0,70 Dollars, but in view of the general economic situation it is something noticeable. It  is also noticeable that the segment of the most sold bottles is that of those between 20 and 25$.

Consumers buy more expensive wines and the premium bottles move indoors? Maybe that is so.


Restaurants-wine-and-covid-how-change-and which-are-the-new-perspectives-Ravioli-stuffed-with-pecorino-cheese-and-LeoneRosso

Restaurants-wine-and-covid-how-change-and which-are-the-new-perspectives-Ravioli-stuffed-with-pecorino-cheese-and-LeoneRosso


Wine ordered directly from wineries online has greatly increased. But the average price has decreased by 10$ with respect to last year and the bottles over 150$ have become unsellable. Another important element: small wineries have had difficulties also with this sales channel, and their stocks in the warehouses is increasing.

All leads to the impression that there will be acquisition by the large wine brands of great slices of the market, while small wineries struggle because of less visibility online and on store shelves.

According to experts, the Americans have had more economic availability during the pandemic maybe because they were forced to stay indoors. This situation has increased their shopping figures, and for some goods such as Champagne the prospect is of a particularly florid period. Less rosy are the perspectives for restaurants that will now have more difficulty in marking up wines  like they did before, because clients are now used to buying online and they know how much bottles cost.



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