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Privacy, Copyright & Disclaimer informs wine enthusiasts about upcoming North American wine release dates.'s October 2009 Winery Mailing Lists (published October 21, 2009)

435 WineRelease subscribers and 155 wineries participated in our Winery Mailing List survey. Below are the winery responses (for the related consumer survey responses, click here.

Offer a mailing list?
WineRelease Comments - 88% of wineries have a mailing list.

Trade verbatim comments:
  • But not a traditional one. Managed online and called a "club", but essentially a mailing list in function. Customers only receive the wine they order and nothing more.
  • Do you mean do we have one? Yes. We only use it to announce events.
  • Email or snail mail?
  • Gathering the info is the easy part---getting someone to send out a mailing (email or snail mail) is the tough part
  • I sell 20% of my wine to my list and hope to increase that.
  • In the process of creating a wine club
  • We have a mailing list of customers.
  • We have a mailing list but we do not offer a wine club.
  • Our Mailing list is free. Case buyers club is different. I am answereing your questions in regards to our mailing list only.
  • Used to track where visitors are coming from, send notification of winemaker events in their area.
  • We offer mailing list sign ups in our tasting room and on our website.
  • We send out periodic announcements and have sales but no formal monthly offerings.
  • We use email only
  • Wine Club and Newletter

Mailing list practices
WineRelease Comments - 96% don't practice "hostage wine" tactics. 76% do limit the number of bottles customers can buy. 91% do not require a minimum purchase. 93% do not remove customers if they skip an offering. Wineries are split on providing discounts for frequent customers and 32% provide discounts if their customers buy futures.

Trade verbatim comments:
  • All wines are sold at pre-release discounts to club members. Always.
  • Customers are removed from our list if they do not purchase two years in a row without notification.
  • Discounts are provided mostly through our Wine Club offerings, not regular "mailing list" customers
  • Don't offer futures at this time
  • Everyone gets the same discounts
  • General mailing list only
  • I do remove customers if they skip 3 offerings
  • I encourage frequent buyers become wine club members
  • if the customer doesn't buy for a number of years we may take them off the list or only email information without hard copies which we send to list on release
  • Limit bottles purchased---only if a high demand wine
  • Minimum purchase is two bottles, due to excessive shipping cost for just one bottle.
  • My lowest production wine is limited. I will drop people off the list if they do not buy after a few offers
  • Occassionally wines have purchase limits
  • Ohio law: 10% case discount. That's all you can do.
  • Our list is just our wine club
  • Require a purchase every 3 years
  • We always discount our wines below MSRP - and offer mixed case discounts
  • We do not have an allocation system.
  • We provide discounts with quantities of 12 or more bottles.
  • we remove them if they have not purchased in several years
  • We do offer discounts to the # of bottles customers buy, and bigger discounts to our very regular/repeat customers.

Bordeaux pricing
WineRelease Comments - A surprising 42% agree that US wineries should adjust their pricing depending on the quality of the vintage.

Trade verbatim comments:
  • Apples to oranges question. CA has nothing comparable to the "en primeur" system where critics barrel sample opinions sway the expected pricing so dramatically for an entire region and vintage. Here, I think it should be a company decision, winery by winery and not a regional protocol.
  • Consumers are not educated to follow that methodology
  • Growers don't lower their prices each vintage so our COGS remain the same.
  • However it depends on the brand loyalty and consistentcy of wine quality.
  • I cannot imagine US wineries doing this. The market may force them to adjust, but not quality.
  • I would say yes if our demand was greater than our supply. We are in balance and price based on target gross margin.
  • If a winery produces a poor quality wine it should not expect as high a price as for a great wine. However if the determination of vintage quality is left to two wine reviewers we will have problems. Very seldom is there a "bad vintage "( in California) in which the weather is bad enough to cause a poor wine as it can in Bordeaux. The customers would mostly be confused by the changing price each vintage for CA wines. Wines should be priced realistically and return value. Do I think that I would get $100 Value for a $100 botlle- not for most current offerings.
  • If you're winery can't produce consistent quality despite the vintage, they should adjust based on quality of their wine produced.
  • In my opinion, pricing - whether related to vintage, availability, or other factors - should be left up to the individual winery.
  • Is the US market ready for that? i don't think they understand wine/vintages/quality enough
  • It would give us greater flexibility, and perhaps would have eased this current "correction" however our vintage variations are not as wide as in Bordeaux so the prices woudn't vary quite as much.
  • My supplies only go up including grape costs. If I can sell more wine direct I can maintain my price
  • Napa doesn't have the problems Bordeaux has regarding the variations from year to year, our weather is consistently good durning the growing season. Their poor vintages are a result of bad growing conditions.
  • Napa Valley has much more consistent weather and rarely ever has a "bad" vintage.
  • No due to fixed annual production costs, regardless of vintage ratings.
  • Obviously, they should. If you do not, the consumer will not trust you as a producer -- they will always be concerned about being ripped off.
  • Quality may raise the price of a bottle but inflation in the economy does it also
  • That's why we have a second label, River Village Cellars.
  • Think we're being dumb not to
  • Too hard to regain price if lower it
  • US consumers purchase habits don't support this
  • We are not Bordeaux! We don't have "off" years

Shipping per bottle
WineRelease Comments - 36% charge $1-$3 per bottle while 34% charge $4-$6.

Trade verbatim comments:
  • 1 bottle - $15 2-4 bottles - $20 5-6 bottles - $25 1-12 bottles - $35
  • All inclusive pricing
  • At the moment shipping is included in the price. You can cannot legally ship for free.
  • Can't answer, shipping depends on where they live.
  • Case shipping is no charge, CA shipping I use GS so on average it's about $2 a bottle
  • Cost is dependent on where it is shipping.
  • Cost per bottle depends on number of bottles ordered.
  • Depending on the time of year. 2 day air for most of the time with ground shipping only for a short while in CA.
  • Depends on amount. I use real time shiping amount plus alittle for box. Per bottle costs are lower on a case than on 2 bottles
  • depends on how many they order can be $4, can be $10
  • depends on location shipped to
  • Depends on quantitiy shipped at a time
  • Depends on shipping destination. Rates are for Ground Service and Express shipments are higher.
  • Depends on shipping state.
  • depends on state
  • Depends on state we ship it to-- and how many bottles per box
  • depends on the destination
  • Depends on the distance shipped - local and surrounding area is free. Further is half to full price.
  • Depends on where it's being shipped to.
  • Depends on where the shipment is going
  • Depends on where the ship-to address is located
  • Depends upon the number of bottles and state shipping the wine to.
  • Depends where the wine is bring shipped, via ground or air, etc.
  • depents on to where
  • Does not include actual shipping cost. Only cost of packaging. Package is 2/bottle.
  • Flat rate on 1/2 or full case only
  • For 1 month each year, shipping is included in price of wine. The rest of the year, it's our true cost to pack and ship, which ranges widely depending on weight of package and distance to destination.
  • free ground on 6+ bottles. We charge shipping on a per bottle basis rather than in ranges.
  • Free on 12 bottle purchases
  • free on 6+ btls
  • Free shipping on case.
  • Free with order >12 bottles Varied by state otherwise
  • Full case lots in CA
  • Half case and full case fixed pricing exact shipping fees passed on for other qty's
  • In California
  • It depends on the charges imposed by the shipper (we use UPS) and it goes by the weight.
  • Just the cost of shippment
  • Only what the shipper charges and often less. I am eating quite a bit of shipping these days
  • Price depends on distance
  • Price is based on actual shipping cost plus $6 handling
  • Shipping cost depends on where wine is shipped to
  • Shipping is too difficult to so quantify. Depends where in the country wine is going-whether it is ground, overnight or 3 day=range is 4 dollars to 10dollars.
  • Shipping/Handling Costs are determined by where they live.
  • Some promotions include shipping at no additional charge. Saying "Free Shipping" is illegal.
  • sometimes shipping is free
  • Sometimes there is no charge; it depends of the outlet.
  • The answer above is an average since the cost varies with the destination
  • Varies with distance. We always ship 2 day except CA where we ship ground.
  • We charge $10 / box nationwide
  • We charge cost so location varies. Sometimes we will run a special promotion on shipping.
  • we charge the same rate that we are charged
  • We charge what it costs us. In-state delivery is much cheaper then overnight across country.
  • We got out of the shipping business due to Ohio's ridiculous laws. We gave us our S permit. We have two wine stores in Cincinnati that can ship wine for us.
  • We pass direct shipping charges on to customers. We do not charge for handling. Also, cases are shipped at no charge for club members.
  • We pass on to the consumer what we are charged for shipping by our third-party shipper. We don't charge a handling fee.
  • we pass on UPS charge
  • We pass through ups charges on shipping (no mark up) and do not charge handling.
  • We ship 2 day AIR...not ground
  • What destination are you referring to? There's a big difference between shipping to New Jersey and Los Angeles per bottle.

More availble wine
WineRelease Comments - Only a small 5% of wineries increase allotment while 13% increase their list number and 24% do a combination of both. 58% do neither.

Trade verbatim comments:
  • I am looking at winewoot and everything I can
  • I will try whatever to get my wine sold in a direct to consumer fashion.
  • If sales slow down it will take a little longer to sell through on a given vintage.
  • No limits on amount of wine purchases
  • Offer an incredible price to shareholders and club members
  • People should be able to buy as much or as little of a wine as they would like. If we have more, allows us to go to other markets.
  • Place special offers in an email.
  • Sell through other channels.
  • We are a smaller winery and we usually sell out of our wines, so we never have excess in our wines.
  • we don't make enough for our market
  • We have never had "more wine to sell"
  • We offer it to anyone and we work harder on the road to get it into other restaurants/high end retail. We also might run a special.
  • We offer specials with discount to increase volume sales
  • We sell out in a few months every year.
  • We're always trying to increase the number of members on our list
  • Wine goes on sale

Method of correspondence
WineRelease Comments - Only 3% of wineries rely soley on postal mail. A combination of both is the majority while soley using email/Internet is also a top choice.

Trade verbatim comments:
  • Club members are notified in advance of printed material.
  • Definitely send both, as email is easiest for ordering, but people change email addresses way more often than they change houses.
  • Email/Internet only. No more snail mail.
  • Emails and phones
  • I can track interest and response to an email mailing in a way that is very difficult on postal mail AND my email mailings are 2 cents per as opposed to 44 cents for a postal mailing
  • Mostly email. A few customers prefer mail.
  • mostly email
  • We are trying to move to more email/internet communication
  • We get great response from printed letters
  • We have only sent one letter through traditional mail. Intention is to communicate electronically only. (Or by phone if customers care to call!)
  • We mail newsletters to club members.
  • Will be moving to combination of email/internet and postal

Overall Survey comments:
  • Annual newsletter to case buyer, limit it to 2000. They choose what and if they want to buy
  • Case Buyers club questions would have differnet answers to most of your questions.
  • Good wine at good value sells.
  • Have no idea why every winery doesn't have an e-mail mailing list, they are so easy!
  • I think people get bombarded with emails and tune them out. Every time I turn around some event, account or publication is asking us to send an email to our mailing list - this is crazy.
  • if we don't have an email. we will sometimes use the p.o. for events and sales.
  • Looking forward to reading the results of this survey.
  • Notice people now shy away from providing postal address in lieu of internet address.
  • We have a general mailing list and wine club. Wine Club get first dibs and more discounts.
  • We sell almost exclusively direct to consumer via mail list.
  • We started out as a mailing list winery and continue the tradition to this day.

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