Overall consumer demand for wine remains largely flat as the US and world continue to struggle to put a definitive end to the ongoing pandemic. The few promising trends continue to be premiumization in retail off-premise and winery direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipment value rising even as the volume of wine shipped is on par with last year.
After a brutal 2020 in which restaurants and bars were forced to close and thousands had to permanently, the on-premise sector is slowly coming back to life. On-premise shutdowns compelled consumers and wineries to shift to retail, e-commerce and direct-to-consumer, and the wineries of Sonoma County have been a leader in growth in the channel that now accounts for a greater share of the total wine market.
Total wine consumption continues to decline in a trend that predates the pandemic disruptions. Direct-to-consumer shipments were invaluable in 2020, and while May shipment value came in higher than last year this sector could see profound future changes unrelated to COVID-19.