How is the wine industry coping through the Covid-19 pandemic?

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

You may be tired of hearing its name, but the Coronavirus (Covid-19) virus is having devastating impacts on the global economy that will likely take years to recover from. Many countries have issued lockdown orders, 90% of flights have been cancelled, and many companies are looking to shed costs fast.

The wine industry has been hit hard as it's an inherently international business, and wine is considered a luxury item in many households, but to what extent exactly has the industry had to adapt and change?

To answer this, we need to identify the changes that have occurred since the beginning of March 2020;

Firstly many vineyards are operating a reduced workforce, in order to best apply social distancing and allow sick leave for those affected by the virus. This is likely to affect countries left worse off by the virus, such as Italy, some parts of France, and Spain.

Secondly, the global supply chain has slowed down slightly in order to conduct thorough cleaning, and take extra care with import documents. Distributors may also face reduced staff numbers.

Thankfully, these changes actually cancel each other out; as customers reduce their luxury expenditure, stores see less demand for wine, beer and spirits, but they also see a restricted supply chain and fewer deliveries of stock.

This is added to by the fact that specialist wine stores and off-licenses were deemed essential stores at the end of March, meaning that in the UK they could legally remain open. Thus, no stock was left abandoned as has been the case of restaurant and bar supplies.

Many smaller stores have had to adapt their businesses in extreme ways in order to meet social distancing requirements, which may be difficult where there is less than 2 metres between shelves, but my personal experience is that the majority of people don't mind waiting in queue for a couple of minutes if necessary.

Thankfully the differences are only minor in a majority of businesses, and some have even seen increased sales as customers stock up due to uncertainty in future changes. Here at Vino Fine, our operations have not been affected at all due to the nature of e-commerce. We do, however, wish for the safety and health of our customers and all others involved in the industry, and hope that we never see a pandemic like this again.

Here at Vino Fine, we're continuing to operate throughout the pandemic, offering you a contactless, hassle-free service.

To explore our range of dealcoholised wines and dealcoholised sparkling wines, visit our store at and have our wines delivered straight to your door.

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