Normally the industry’s busiest month, the October 2017 fires that hit Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties saw the region’s prime tourist season come to a screeching halt.
Community Benchmark data shows that Mendocino was out to a strong start in September, with tasting room sales up 11% on average over September of 2016. After the fires in October, rather than continuing the trend, we saw the average Mendocino tasting room sales decrease 34% . As an aside, Mendocino decreases were definitely more pronounced among the wineries on the 101 corridor than for Anderson Valley.
In Napa, the September to October sales decrease was even more dramatic, with a Tasting Room average of 46% down. What’s more is that the decrease in Tasting Room sales is directly related to a similar decrease in Visitor traffic of 45%. In Forbes, Brian Freedman quoted several industry leaders as saying that their visitor numbers were down anywhere from 60-80% in the weeks following the fires.
|September to October Change|
But stay tuned! We know the trends are looking up, and the data for November 2017 is showing a 10% increase in both traffic and sales for both counties. As we continue to dive deep into the data regarding the recovery happening in November and December, we will also be looking into the 2017 Year Overall Trends and reporting our insights and observations.
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