Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Central Coast wineries shift business strategy in weak economy!"

Friday, October 17th, KSBY, the San Luis Obispo local NBC station came to town to film a piece on how the economy is affecting our local areas winery sales and visitor traffic. Here is their piece..!

(Sorry about Big Bubba's!)

Reported by: Liza Sullivan

The Central Coast wine industry is faring better than other industries during the current financial downturn. Many winery owners said business has dipped around 10 to 15 percent in the past year, with some wineries doing better than others.

Winery owners said tasting room traffic is lighter. They said consumers are still drinking wine, but shopping for cheaper bottles. Many wineries are also shifting their efforts toward wholesale distribution.

Business is steady at Edward Sellers Winery in downtown Paso Robles.

Tasting room manager Kendall Carson said she is busy pouring wines and entertaining tasters, including Nancy Commerdinger and her husband. The couple drove up from Orange County, and said the recent financial downturn is only motivating them to find better bargains.

"We prefer to buy bargains because we drink wine every day," said Commerdinger. And that seems to be the trend throughout the Paso Robles wine country.

"Maybe people aren't choosing to come here and buy their wine, maybe they have been here and they have that great loyalty with your brand, and they're choosing to buy your wine back at their local store," said Stacie Jacob of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.

Jacob added that many wineries are focusing more on wholesale distribution.

At Edward Sellers, the small winery said its location downtown helps bring in business, and Carson said it's not uncommon to see tasters come in to simply try a wine, and leave with an entire case.

Experts said recent coverage on the Paso Robles wine country in several publications is also helping the wine industry.

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