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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 consumer responses (for the related winery survey responses, click here.

Mailing List Practices.
WineRelease Comments - Strong dislike for "hostage wine" practices with 61% of subscribers indicating they strongly dislike the practice. Most understand the practice of limiting the number of wines a member can purchase. 71% either strongly dislike or dislike being required to purchase a minimum dollar amount. 85% either strongly dislike or dislike being removed from a winery mailing list after skipping a purchase. 90% either understand or applaud the practice of providing discounts to consistent purchasers (the results from question 3 below shows that 42% of subscribers would buy wine each year if given a discount). And 77% either understand or applaud the practice of providing discounts on futures.

Consumer verbatim comments:
  • A lot of this is just business so it is very understandable.
  • Can't think of many successful marketing models that employ a punitive response for skipping a release. You make direct contact with a customer who purchases from you and then you sever that contact!?
  • Dislike and Understand are not mutually exclusive
  • Furtures SUCK
  • Having worked for wineries with mailing lists in the past, I understand the practices
  • I dislike being removed from a list but would wish some would implement a "you get to pass on one year" type of policy. I think Kosta Browne is particularly harsh in this respect.
  • I dislike it when I can't decide how many bottles I'm buying.I hate when they give the finish wine to a shipper who gauges on the shipping charges
  • I don't like to buy anything I can't taste.
  • I have stopped purchasing from Williams Selymen and one other winery due to their mailing list practices
  • I like wineries that offer me a selection of wines and allow me to buy what I want. I have no problem if they offer me more if I buy more or less if I buy less. I hate it when they require me to buy a "package" of wines which might include something I'm not interested in. I am no longer on any lists like that.
  • I LOVE buying futures at a discount
  • I never buy futures
  • I prefer the first come first server approach.
  • I think everyone understands these practices, applauding the beneficial ones and disliking the punitive ones. However, the core problem to me is that these "practices" treat all customers the same -- as on-off switches -- instead of as individuals whose buying behavior is probably more like a volume dial.
  • I'm pretty picky about what I'll drink. Ideally I like all of your wines, but if I can't pick and choose I'm likely to buy what I want through some other venue. Not worth wasting my money on wines I don't want.
  • I'm sorry but forcing me to buy wine at high prices in the year you score an 85 after years of scoring in the 90's is ridiculous. Reduce the cost that year, hope to break even, and move on.
  • In these difficult econoic times wineries should understand that sometimes you can't afford their wine. Being dropped after being a good customer is bad business.
  • Item 1: Really don't like that. I am the consumer, I have the money, I should be able to buy what I prefer. Item 2: Not an issue for me because the most I buy of any one type is 3 bottles and that is usually available. Item 3: I can understand that to a point, but the wineries should cut some slack. I got an offer right after I spent my yearly allotment once, I called and said hey, will you please keep me on for another year? they said yes but I will see as the offer comes again in 2010. Item 3: I would really like that but would need to know what the minimum purchase is. there is only 1-4 wineries I seem to make yearly purchases from. Item 4: I haven't ever bought futures bu tI liek the concept.
  • I've never been presented with discounts off any list.
  • Martinelli is an example of the first item; you buy in fixed blocks of 6, 12, 24. Recently, they've been offering by each, so the economy is hurting them.
  • more wineries should sell wine on futures like david caffaro
  • Never been removed from a list for missing a few offerings.
  • Not many let you buy futures, except for maybe Montelena.
  • Removal from a list after missing one offering is pretty penal...I suggest removal only after missing 2 offerings.
  • Sounds like the free marketing - and wineries' marketing experiments - at work. I might not like all the decisions made, but so long as the wineries do what makes sense to them, I won't cry "Foul!"
  • The requirement to buy their less desirable wines in order to receive their most desirable ones is foolish. They just missed out on an opportunity to have me as a customer!
  • US retail drives the price in the market so I don't believe "Bordeaux style futures" would be very successful here....the winery would cut it throat if it sold for less than their retail channels, at least in the year of release.
  • what I do dislike is when a wine is $45 if you are on the list but then 3 months later I find it available at K&L for $37
  • What I hate is the lack of understand that many wineries have exhibited to the ecomony. So you don't have the money that cut you out. Then you have Rivers Marie and their ilk who are totally understanding. I buy from them often because of this.
  • Winery lists are on there way out unless the discounts can compete with what the retail outlets are offering at the same cost or better!!
  • You opened my eyes a little

Bordeaux pricing in the US?
WineRelease Comments - A whopping 72% of consumers wish US wineries would adjust pricing as Bordeaux does. Interesting also that 42% of the winery trade also agree on price adjusting by vintage.

Consumer verbatim comments:
  • Adust their pricing means raise their price to wineries. Never lower. They would never admit the less quality.
  • although, for the most part, I believe that US offer more consistent quality across vintages
  • Bordeaux has negociants between the producer and consumer. They help balance the prices. Chateaux rarely give a "suggested retail" price. Much more civilized than the US pricing scheme
  • But Bordeaux doesn't always do this any more!
  • Downward, not up.
  • Duh
  • Good business practice requires pricing flexibility. Simple as that.
  • hard call. i'm anti-futures in general as it leads to speculating and hype
  • How about the Napa Cabs dropping in price with the economy.
  • I admit this would be harder to do in the U.S.
  • I don't think we're as vintage variable as Bordeaux is in the US (overall).
  • I have chosen NOT to buy when offerred for the first time for an "off" vintage.
  • I think it stupid to sell bad wine for the same price as a great year.
  • I think wine pricing should be based on the quality of the product or get out of the business
  • if it really is quality or just another american marketing gimick to raise the price-ie organic wines ha ha what a joke they are!~
  • If the vintage is variable, i.e., the product will not be as good as a previous vintage, then yes the price should be less. .... the customer is getting less. Know it is an agricultural product and may not be the fault of the winery, but it is the winery's risk not the consumer to hedge against bad vintage.
  • In most cases no as US wineries don't send prices skyrocketing unjustifiably in good vintages, unlike the French.
  • In the past 25 years I have yet to see any California winery adjust their pricing based on overall vintage quality ( 1993, 1998)
  • It is arrogant for Joseph Phelps and Hundred Acre to charge the same or more in years when they are not as good. Jack asses!
  • It should depend on the demand for the wine.
  • It's a good idea, but how would it be monitored?
  • Its all about supply and demand.
  • Its rather opportunistic, and says a lot about the owner/winemaker if they choose to adjust their price.
  • let the market decide what the wine is worth
  • Market adjusts the prices which the wineries seem to do a good job of following.
  • Most wineries raise their prices every single year, keeping prices flat at best. This method was fine when great California cabs sold at a significant discount to great Bordeaux, but the value proposition has now turned upside down, and I am buying much less from mailing lists as a result.
  • no reason to assume that every year the wine will be the 'same'. Simply not possible to do so.
  • Not as general practice but certain vintners could
  • Our wines do not vary as much according to vintage...when they do, the market adjusts itself
  • Prefer a consistent reasonable price. If it's an off-vintage, I would not buy even if it's a lower price. But in a good vintage, I'm not willing to pay a premium for it. Much prefer a constant price year in and year out and have the freedom of choice to buy or not.
  • Prices on higher end wines should come down. They are overpriced.
  • Quality of vintage can be highly subjective.
  • Quality of vintage is a matter of personal taste, at least up to some extent. For instance, 1997 was considered an amazing vintage in Napa. But I like more acid in my wines than many people, and those wines haven't aged as well, in many cases, as the 1996s.
  • Said "yes" but not sure that Bordeaux has really been adjusting prices based on the quality of the vintage. Unless you mean increasing cost in good vintages and in bad...
  • should be based on the quality of the wine
  • Should only be for their particular wine.
  • since they don't, I purchase less or, if a average vintage, none at all.
  • The idea is reasonable, in a 10 year span, the price will average out to the consumer's benefit - as it has in France. But I have a deep suspicion that in the USA, it would be greatly abused for profit.
  • the quality must win to the fame in price
  • The quality of the particular wine comes ahead of even a consensus of writers judging a vintage.
  • Their option to run their businesses any way they wish, but price bumps could undermine good, ongoing relationships w/their customers.
  • They may still come out ahead by selling more at direct retail and avoiding the multi-teared wholesale business.
  • They should, but if the consumer is foolish enough to buy the wines anyway, why should they lower their prices?
  • Think this is appropriate for the upper end of the price range.
  • this recession has seen some price erosion, but not much.
  • Though, who judges the quality? Hmmm?
  • U.S. wineries are pricing themselves out of the market. good or bad vintages the price continues to rise (especially Napa).
  • Unfortunately, as long as there is a line of people waiting to get on a list, the prices won't budge, even in this economy.
  • US wineries should adjust their pricing according to the quality of their wine, not just the vintage. Many wineries, small/medium/large are overpriced. Restaurants should be the first to change bottle pricing and by the glass pricing.
  • we are paying for quality, they need to adjust price for qualify.
  • Who decides the quality of the vintage?
  • Who determines quality. The winery or my palate.
  • Why does nobody see the disconnect of a winery that sells an agricultural product and markets its role in delivering that product as one of struggling against the vagaries of vintage (i.e., weather) and yet never adjusts its pricing to reflect that struggle. Keeping prices constant connotes that all vintages are the same. We know this NOT to be true.
  • why not??
  • Why US wineries charge absurd prices on poorer vintages is a shame
  • wine should be priced reasonably - if they invested too much money in facilities that is their problem not the consumers - It costs less than $8 to fill a wine bottle & put on the label. Everything else is price of land, production facility, name recognition and geeting what the traffif can bear
  • Wineries have to come to terms with their "discounted member" price versus retail which in some cases is lower...especially after high shipping charges. If the wine is unavailable at retail that is one thing but to pay a higher price direct from the winery does not make sense. There has to be some middle ground.
  • Yeah, especially Napa. Not too much for Oregon or Washington, as they are okay on their prices, but a reduction would be good either way.
  • Yes but $100 in a good year and then $500 in a really good year is crazy.
  • Yes for those who make a different wine in each vintage; No for those who force wine to fit their brand.

Long time list member discount
WineRelease Comments - 42% would purchase wine every year and 30% would increase their purchase amount if wineries gave discounts to long time list members.

Consumer verbatim comments:
  • Any time you can cement a relationship by "going the extra mile," you'll likely benefit.
  • Although price is a factor, for me the main limitation is living in Canada.
  • Depending on the winery and the price of the wine
  • Depends on amount of discount
  • Depends on the winery and the prices.
  • Funny but in this difficult economic year only a few allocations stayed relatively the of mine was 4X the previous year...sure says someone is hurting.
  • Having been with a winery since its conception sholud give you perks. I took a chance buying wine from new wineries before they were popular and feel I sholud have something for the loyalty
  • Human nature.
  • I am cutting down on purchases so this would not affect my buying pattern.
  • I buy what I'm looking for, not what is presented
  • I dislike this practice.
  • I know that in the past, I've bought more from a winery that had a program to reward frequent/volume purchasers. Sounds eminently reasonable to me.
  • I like wineries that allow case discounts on mixed/matched purchases as well.
  • I tend to purchase more of high quality wines/vintages and less of the other.
  • If the discount was significant 10% or more.
  • If the quality of the wine was worthy on a yearly basis.
  • I'm not able to check both purchase every year and increase purchase amount.
  • i'm still dicovering my choices...
  • It makes sense to reward your best customers. These customers are also MUCH more profitable and cash flow friendly that dumping to retail via distributors and having two tiers plus hacking away at profits.
  • It really depends - I said purchase every year and while that's true for some wineries it would not be for others....
  • It would make me more apt to purchase more
  • Kent and Lisa Callaghan give me case prices on single bottles. I buy from them direct 3 or 4 times a year.
  • Meeker increases their discount if you are on list over three years.
  • Only if the wine was excellent quality
  • Probably still drop them.
  • Probally be more consistant and more opportunity to sell me
  • Rewarding consistency (loyalty) is good business. That is, it is a practice that serves both the business AND its customers.
  • There is a lot of mark up. They need to reward buyers.
  • this depends on the discount level.
  • Those wineries which give industry discount to list members (my wife's in the industry) tend to get more of my business.
  • Vintage driven
  • Yeah, I would consider that greatly.

Reasonable shipping costs
WineRelease Comments - 68% agree on $1-$3 shipping per bottle.

Consumer verbatim comments:
  • $3 for a case, $ 4 for 1/2 case
  • 10 % of $ 50 is 5 dollars
  • Actually, up to $5 per bottle is reasonable
  • Almost moot point since the shipping will be in the price of wine or paid direct.
  • Am located on the east coast and willing to pay more to get wine here safely
  • At some level of buying it should be free.
  • Bad news when they mark-up the shipping charges to make extra $ AND SOME DO!
  • Depend the money you spend and place to send
  • Depends on distance. In-state should be free, as they avoid paying percentage to distributor.
  • Depends on how far the wine has to travel
  • Depends on the distance and the discount on the wine. If full retail and not too far then free ..if at discount, then shipping should apply. That said, I know many wineries try to make a profit on shipping.. or they did - this is not the best practice.
  • Depends on the method. UPS/FedEx Ground, 3rd Day, 2nd Day, Next Day? From where to where?
  • Depends on the qty purchased.
  • depends on the quatity you order
  • Depends on whether it's out-of-state. In my case, it is. Also, I applaud wineries that allow ground shipping as an option to reduce the cost. Some force you to pay for 2-day air.
  • Depends where it needs to ship to. But in general, it shouldn't cost too much. One winery wanted to charge me $35 to ship 1 bottle to WA state. When I lived in CA, one winery charged the same to ship from Rutherford to San Francisco as they did from Rutherford to New York. That doesn't seem fair.
  • discounted for quanity
  • for 2nd Day Air
  • For what most winereies charge, they should at least throw in free shipping
  • Free does incentivize me to purhase.
  • FREE is good but unrealistic unless it is amortized as an offer. The most unfortunate aspect of shipping is that a bottle is a bottle -- it costs the same whether you're sending plonk or Petrus. This obviously depresses mail order sales of inexpensive wines.
  • free shipping has encouraged me to buy a lot of wine this year
  • Free when possible.
  • free would be great but unrealistic.
  • Handling should not be charged
  • Hard to call, some places (Paul Hobbs come sto mind) really gouge you. Paying for the shipping packaging. they have to absorb some of that.
  • Hard to comment with out knowing more infor, ground or air and distance
  • I am in CA so it shouldn't be too expensive.
  • I feel that $1 per bottle is more than fair
  • I like free but reasonable would be less then $3
  • I live in Hawaii and no shipping costs are reasonable here for most items including wine
  • I live in NC and ship overnight or 2 day air
  • I prefer having free shipping cost to getting discount from wineries which I am a "long-time" list member.
  • I so appreciate no shipping that I often buy wine I wouldn't otherwise
  • I think it should be very close to their cost, and not a money maker. They should be selling product, not shipping services.
  • I typically get charged more than $10 a bottle. For instance, I am paying $40 shipping for a 3-bottle allocation of Ovid.
  • I understand smaller wineries can't get some of the FedEx/UPS/etc. discounts that are available to the shippers' larger customers. And I don't want/need for you to eat the shipping. But if the pricing makes it clear that shipping is part of your profit? Ugh.
  • I would love free obviously but to be honest, shipping is often built into the cost of those "free offers". I think that about $20 a case is a nice price. I love that some wineries are offering free shipping during these financial times because the shipping cost of more than $40 a case often turns me off from buying.
  • I'd be willing to pay a higher shipping/handling cost if temperature-controlled and expedited delivery were offered.
  • If a winery sells me a bottle for $20 that has an FOB of $10 to a wholesaler, they are making an extra $10, which more than covers the cost of shipping the wine to me directly
  • If the winery is somewhat local, should have a pick-up option
  • Interesting how CA wineries using the same shipper (GSO) have widely-varying shipping rates.
  • It cost what it costs - ups or fed -ex (DUH)
  • It depends on amount purchased, where the wine is being shipped to, and how you have to ship...
  • It should be a universal price for all.Its ridiculous when 40-50 wineries from the same exact shipping point have 40-50 different prices for shipping.Its ridiculous to get a bill from Napa for 2nd day air delivery
  • It would be lovely if large quantity orders were free to ship.
  • It's difficult to get wine shipped to Pennsylvania
  • More agravating are wineries that won't ship to my state even though it is legal with a modestly priced permit.
  • My purchasing is linked to shipping costs. I'd buy much more wine if shipping were less.
  • Not enough granularity. The first category still runs the range of $12-36/case.
  • Not sure
  • Of course who wouldn't love "free shipping," but I understand that shipping most likely will vary depending upon how far away you are from the shipper.
  • Of course, it all depends upon the over all bottom line. However; (1) making shipping cost appear reasonable is a plus (2) mindlessly expensive shipping costs whcih are normally a product of the ever more expensive use of s middle msn shipper (now an industry in itself) creates a very bad customer perception and can definitely be a deal breaker.
  • Offering inexpensive 2 day air would be a huge plus!!!
  • prefer free shipping with purchase of 3+ bottles
  • Question doesn't get to the question of where in the county the wine may be shipped.
  • really depends on ground vs air
  • Response is predicated upon 2nd day air shipping
  • Shipping cost is the biggest reason not to buy through the mail. It is usually way out of line and kills the deal. I usually pick up locally.
  • shipping cost per bottle depends on the method of shipment (ie.) air, surface, etc
  • shipping only, no handling
  • Shipping or tax, but not both.
  • shipping rates kill you. That's one reason I don't buy a lot on line
  • Shipping should not be a profit center.
  • shipping shouldn't be a profit center. listing ground price. Understand that with warm weather second or next day is more.
  • some like Loring include free shipping. Nice touch.
  • Strongly depends on distance between winery and purchaser.
  • That might depend on what zone you're shipping from and to. Most of my shipping is CA to WA.
  • The bigger issue is the inter-state shipping regulations
  • The industry really should work to get everyone on one carrier to leverage volume and drive down price, we have all our major studio DVD distribution running through Fed Ex at great savings to all.
  • There should not be handling costs, only shipping.
  • They should have this taken into account since these are all presold and it should be free.
  • This depends on distance, I believe. I'm in California, about 2 hours from Napa, so shipping from Napa wineries should be less for me than for folks on the East Coast.
  • This gets to be an issue, we are switching to case purshases every 6 months instead of monthly if possible.
  • unfortunately, Indiana's wine laws are so restrictive that few wineries will ship to Indiana and those that have to use a special distributor charge enormous fees
  • Unfortunately, liquid and glass are some of the heaviest substances. I hate when shipping costs nearly the same amount as the purchase.
  • we need lighter packaging!!!
  • whatever the costs are, no "handling" profit only labor burden
  • Whatever the shipping company charges
  • Wineries charge $20 for a case, which is less than the choices you gave us; update your choices and thinking on this item
  • Wineries should have excellent rates with shippers. I consider they-pay as a high inducement to buy.
  • Would like the option for ground shipping from California to the East Coast.
  • You did not offer this choice but it should not exceed $1 per bottle.
  • You'd think that either FedEx or UPS would take the initiative to come up with some fixed price per case to attact more business....most of the wineries don't let these two compete for the consumer's business.

More wine to sell
WineRelease Comments - 76% think a combination of both is acceptable.

Consumer verbatim comments:
  • Are you implying that they limited the club members? How many wineries are in that good of a position?
  • Depends; if on-going situation, then add more members.
  • Discount for quanity
  • don't create the idea of a preferred list or a closed door--go back to europe
  • Excess should be sold out of the winery. once you add to the list you can not cut back the list in a year of low production which reduces the amount of wine available to the members.
  • Damn allotments! They are only real when demand exceeds supply. Expanding distribution (and therefore demand) is the way for a winery to go.
  • I dislike exclusive members clubs, especially when the winery chooses the wines instead of the consumer.
  • I think it would be appropriate to first offer existing list members the opportunity to increase purchases and then add list members.
  • If nature blesses a winery with greater yields (without diminishing quality) then it should use that to grow its list. A technique that serves both the winery and its existing members is "friend get a friend."
  • Increase allotment for existing. If they still have enough left after the long time list members get a chance, then open up to new comers.
  • It depends.... was it a one time home run or did they increase production. If 1 time... Offer more to list members - if long term increase, offer more people the wine.
  • It would be nice to get on some of the hard to get lists. also resent those on hard to get lists who sell their allotment for a profit.
  • Loyal customers should get what they want but you also need to grow the customer base.
  • no recommendation
  • Not sure that concerns me too much.
  • Number two creates an obvious problem, kinda like the California budget.
  • Offer lest members increase allotments, then go out and get new list members.
  • or drop the price
  • Quit expanding the list and dropping down the number of bottles that I can buy. Sea Smoke is a big offender
  • Really depends on the goals of the winery.
  • reduce price
  • Reward long time customers and expand the base.
  • that's a big problem and usually results in me removing myself from the list because I know there will be lots of the wine at a discounted price in circulation.
  • There are very few lists I am on that I don't feel I am getting an adaquate allocation. I would think the winery would want to expand their customer base. The bigger issue is what to do with too few wines to sell. I like what Dehlilnger did this year....offered their very small amount of their excellent Rose to those who actually purchased last year off the mailing list and they asked if you wanted to reserve some before it was actually offered. Very professional handling of a "too few" situation. As a result the Rose never made it to the mailing list as it must have been 'pre-sold out' to their recent customers. And amazingly the price was very reasonable and not jacked up because of the high demand/low supply.
  • This is a case of what is best for the winery. They are, afterall, a business.
  • What happens to an expanded list in a year when there is less wine available for sale

Resell wines
WineRelease Comments - A surprisingly low number of subscribers flip wines.

Consumer verbatim comments:
  • A winery should not use list members as a distributor. Add more members to the list.
  • Are you kidding. I give it away.
  • As I'm not on any list, I have no opinion
  • Bite the bullet on this one folks, if you really want that screamng eagle vertical
  • But I do donate a lot of those to Charity Auctions...
  • Don't buy any "forced" wines
  • Haven't bought yet
  • However, I do give some as gifts.
  • I drop off winery list that forces purchases
  • I frequently solicit my friends to share in my allocations that I can't use....but always at the price I pay.
  • I just donate to charitable auctions.
  • I once sold several lots (including much of my Harlan and Maiden) via auction. I plan to keep everything I have now.
  • I only resell at my cost to give friends a chance to enjoy quality wine!
  • I share wine with friends or give these wines as gifts. Not every one has the same tastes I do, so it works out.
  • I won't buy wines I'm "forced" to take. I quit lists with such requirements.
  • I would say amongst my friends that reselling at cost to stay on a list is very prevelant
  • If we talking about the wines you're forced to take, then they're either crappy -- in which case nobody wants them -- or they're in broad distribution -- in which case anybody who wants them can get them.
  • I'm not on lists that force me to buy every year, and i don't like the practice of kicking me off. some years i just can't buy
  • Make great gifts
  • May sell in future. Currently, if lesser wine, use as gifts or serve to my friends who don't know the difference
  • maybe gift them out
  • Never, I buy to drink and share.
  • No, however I have given it away.
  • Probably not a bad idea though because I've been on some lists for years and still don't get an allocation.
  • Retail/restaurant
  • The laws are tough and confusing around this one.
  • To my friends, at my cost.
  • Typically at no additional profit(and to friends).
  • We don't know if they are good until we try them. Reviews only go so far.

Intent to resell
WineRelease Comments - Not many are on lists to intentionally flip wines.

Consumer verbatim comments:
  • A winery should not use list members as a distributor. Add more members to the list.
  • How would you make a profit unless you got an allotment of a really rare wine like a Grand Cru Burgundy? Most wine is over abundant and over prices and people can get it at a discount from online auctions.
  • I dislike people who do this. It's not the reason for mailing lists and should be discouraged.
  • I was at one time, but no longer.
  • In many states this is illegal.
  • Only Screaming Eagle. It remains too ridiculously valued to drink!
  • should be illegal like scalping tickets for ball games.
  • The thought has crossed my mind.
  • This is worse than the black market during World War II.I sell my Screamers since the price is ridiculous
  • those reselling wines should be considered a distributor and required to be licensed.
  • Well I was before the economy tanked!
  • Wine "scalpers" need to have their balls cut off
  • You just opened my eyes
  • You're already paying a premium when you buy direct from the winery (versus retail). The assumption is: if the wines are on allocation, then the premium is the cost of scarcity (or lack of availability). In reselling them -- or better yet, aging them THEN reselling them -- you're gambling the wines will appreciate beyond the cost of acquiring & storing them.

Increase or decrease mailing list purchases
WineRelease Comments - The responses are consistent with the economy with 51% decreasing their mailing list purchases in the past year.

Consumer verbatim comments:
  • 90 percent of my purchases are made at the winery; 10 percent at wine shops. So yeah, it's stayed the same: zero percent.
  • Based on my assessment of the vintage, ratings of the wines, and type of wines/allocation offered
  • Due to the scary economy.
  • Economy
  • For various reasons, I gave up my wine locker in Chicago. Thus, unless a winery can ship to Indiana, I'm unable to buy from it. It's a shame, really.
  • Gosh I just love a recession and all the new mailing list openings
  • Have not ever been on such a list
  • haven't bougth anything yet
  • I am not currently on any mailing lists
  • I can find similar or better quality per dollar at retail if I am willing to try new labels. I only buy mailing list wines now for a token presence in my cellar--they have lost their elitist appeal.
  • I don't have wine shipped. I buy direct from a winery or store.
  • I no longer automatically buy from as many places as before, and I'm cutting down on orders for one or two producers.
  • Increased the amount purchased, not number of wineries purchased from.
  • It was time to become more selective
  • It will keep decreasing until the prices come down
  • it'll go back up once i'm out of school
  • It's up and down from each year.
  • I've cut back on most - partly the economy and partly too much wine...
  • I've decreased wine purchases overall
  • I've recently been invited on to more lists.
  • Joined more clubs
  • Many of the wines exclusive to mailing lists are now found at a discount at may retailers and auctions.
  • My business in the last year is down 90%. As such , the available resources for wine purchases have gone down quite a bit.
  • My income is lower due to the recession
  • My purchases are based on quality and availability.
  • Out of work.
  • Poor economy
  • Substitution.
  • The economy sucks
  • The general economy has caused us to cut back!
  • The product costs too much money
  • When wines cost more off a list than they do at retail, it makes no sense whatsoever to buy off of the list. That is increasingly the case.
  • Wine purchases in general, not just from mailing lists, have diminished. Change in priorities due to starting a family.

Direct purchases
WineRelease Comments - A surprisingly high number (28%) of subscribers purchase 50% or more of their wine direct. I was really surprised at that number. This bodes well for wineries that are looking to increase their direct sales.

Consumer verbatim comments:
  • Have bought a couple of wine house-san francisco bottles- am still looking for my favorite winery
  • I moved to Hawaii with a substantial number of wines and have not yet had to purchase any wine
  • I only buy Arizona wines from the winery. Total Wine & More sells many California wines below the prices listed on the winery website. Seghesio, Cline, Klinker Brick, etc.
  • I usually go there in person.
  • I'm buying mostly Champagne these days, so it's not an option.
  • Just a guess, probably more like 33%
  • Manage a wine shop,so don't need to
  • My answer skews high because I live in wine country. I actually visit the wineries to buy wine
  • Native Californian, don't like to buy a wine if I haven't tried it or at least a previous vintage of it.
  • shipping to massachusetts is not easy
  • That is changing now as I find alternative sources
  • the more accurate answer for me would be 98%
  • These purchases tend to be pricier than store bought or futures purchases, because the wineries jack up prices way beyond what they would charge a distirbutor, restaurant or retail store to sell the same amount. I purchase many wines, but a lower price point from retail establishments
  • This includes from my wife's employer (Diageo).
  • This is a figure based upon years of buying. If I was to select current year it would be less than 9% because I live in Colorado now.
  • this is something I think I may change. I am not purchasing from my local guys as much and they really do have great selections and prices. And some of the mailing list wines eventually end up on their shelves. and they have foreign wines.
  • Very seldom get good deals directly from the winery. Seems like we are looked at as a dumping ground

Preferred method of correspondence.
WineRelease Comments - 76% prefer Email/Internet.

Aplogies as a "comments" box for "Preferred method of correspondence" was left out so the verbatims below are mixed with those comments and overall comments.

"Preferred method of correspondence" and Overall Survey comments:
  • Another big dislike - wineries that require you to pay 1-2 years in advance for wine with no futures discount.
  • Columbia Crest 'Summit Reserve Club' is best out there !!! Can purchase their quarterly selections at 30% discount for 90 days. Members get 20% discount on all other RESERVE wines while in stock at the winery. Cheers.
  • Hostage wines suck. I understand that s0me wines are limited and exclusive, and demand exceeds production. there has to be a way to dole these out. some lists took me years to get on and I really don't want to get dropped from their list if I decide not to make a purchase, especially in a poor quality year. somewhere in the world they are having a good year.
  • how many wineries use text messaging to inform of specials? it's used in other retail industries with higher conversion rates. why not the wine industry where keeping consumers engaged is probably even more valuable?
  • I absolutely love the personal customer service from small wineries; it's like they really care
  • I assumed you were projecting this as a wine club contact. It used to be that the wineries had one or two special events for members for free. Those events would allow you to purchase additional wine from the tastings. Today they all want to charge for these events. I find it unacceptable and do not attend. In the past I would purchase $500-1000 at these events. I am not going to pay to shop. There are too many wineries that want my business to do that. It does not seem that the wineries look at what you buy.
  • I dislike not being able to buy in multiple of 1 or 2's. Too many require minimum purchase of a 3 pack or more.
  • I get alot of newsletter, so I might not be bable to read all the newletters.
  • I wished they would give an idea of where I am on the waiting list.
  • If on the winery list there should be a discount to retail...too many times I can buy high end wine for less money than from the winery. There should be an incentive to neing loyal to the winery
  • I'm on S E list from 92 and this will be my last year. Harlan just went to 500 btl, last year for them also
  • It's annoying when I purchase $3,000 + of wine each year from a winery, and I then find it offered for the same price or less (with shipping) from and online retailer.
  • Love Open House / Pick-up weekends where the winery has tasting, etc. It's a great way to get an initial taste of what you getting (so you have an idea of when to open it) and you may discover some new favorites.
  • Most of my lists seem to be doing a good job of trying to satisfy only gripe would be seeing so much of these top wines offered in the secondary market, sometimes even before the wines ship. I'd suggest that many of the top lists like Shafer, Kistler, Aubert consider asking the purchaser to verify that the wines ordered are for personal use and not for the purpose of profit via resale, at least in the year of release. This may be hard to enforce but it might open up sales to some consumers who can't afford the secondary market prices. Notre Dame football claims that they will drop season ticket holders if they find that they remain on those lists for the purpose of profit via resale....resale at the original ticket price is permitted. I waited 6 years on one list before being offered 2 bottles of thier top wine.
  • Prices are the biggest barrier to me nowadays. List wines I was paying $30-40 for 10 years ago are now $60-75. Unfortunately, my disposable income has not doubled in that time. Consequently, California is losing representation in my cellar, which is gaining more French, Spanish, and Italian wines--even with the relative weakness of the dollar, $35 spent on one of those wines often beats the Cal winery list offerings at similar prices for aging potential and quality.
  • Scores from third party critics are bullshit. I usually steer clear of "Parkerized" or "Shankinized" 90+ pointers. If I want to drink as much alcohol as those wines contain, give me a Stoli
  • Sheesh, who uses postal mail?
  • SLC always give you 20 days notice of any club shipments. Wish all wineries did the same thing.
  • Some of these wineries need to get their heads out of the clouds and realize you can't screw the customer and continue to have good relations. There are way too many wineries out there producing really good wines for some of this attitude that seems to be very prevelant now days.
  • something nice about a physical mailing...
  • Stop selling their wines to known re sellers.It screws up the pricing.
  • Thank you, I'm always looking for release dates to inform others.
  • The new allocation and order software that more and more wineries are using is great!
  • the one get from you has been the type that i would like to be able to use because it lists the winerys which is like the owners in the hores races which have have an effect on quality and type of wine (horse)(( kind of like mr jackson of kendell Jackson)) i still haven't found what i'm looking for-u-2
  • The only ones that still have a great demand are Marcassin, SQN and Screaming Eagle.
  • Variety is the spice of life, but not when it's crammed down your throat.
  • When is Sine Qua Non going to stop sending postcards and finally offer me some wine? :-)
  • Wine clubs --in which you are compelled to take a set allocation without the opportunity to decline or adjust --are especially annoying when a winery provides no other means to access their better wines.
  • Yes email is more efficient. But snail mail is more tactile. Wine is a sensual product and snail mail gives wineries more tools to communicate its qualities.
  • Yes, all allocations should be available to the customer for a defined period of time, at least 2 weeks from receipt of offer. First come first served sucks. Treat me like you care about my patronage!

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