Looking back on 2021, business analyst Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank is calling the year good—but not great.
In a new state-of-the-industry report, McMillan details how wine sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels, bolstered by a thriving direct-to-consumer market and the strongest ever year for mergers and acquisitions. A third of the winery owners surveyed said it was their best year ever. Yet McMillan is quick to add some context.
“Looking at a single good year doesn’t define the industry as successful any more than looking at 2020 defines the business as a failure,” he cautions.
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Interest in wine is falling among younger consumers, while baby boomers are consuming less. And spirits stole a share of the market last year, sobering expectations for a wine recovery.
“We predicted there would be a reopening celebration, and it turns out we were correct,” writes McMillan. “But the reopening celebration that took place in 2021 didn’t include the wine industry.”