We have raised the price of our Estate Red Mountain Chenin Blanc Ice Wine.
The new price, $32, represents a $7 per bottle increase over the long-time $25 ask. We don't like to raise prices willy-nilly, which is why I am writing to you now.
A fundamental aspect of Ice Wine production is that we are very much subject to Mother Nature's whimsy. We wanted to make Ice Wine in 2015, but we were unable to do so. There's a good supply of 2014 remaining, but when we look at our depletion rates going forward into next year, a very evident deficiency is upon us unless we make a change. We hope to make more in the 2016 vintage. But until then, we need our 2014 inventory to last.
Overall warming trends in our weather patterns are a concern as well. Long-term, we need to at least consider the possibility that the steady supply of Ice Wine that we have been so fortunate to make over the last several decades will become decidedly less steady.
Ice Wine prices in the overall market already account for this unpredictability. Excluding ours, you'd be hard-pressed to find a quality 375 mL bottle of Ice Wine for less than $50. It's not uncommon to see Ice Wines costing $100 or more. A $25 Ice Wine is essentially unheard-of. In fact, it can (ironically) be a little bit of a hurdle to overcome in sales, because wine buyers and distributors assume that there's a catch. There's no catch.
Our computer records actually don't go back far enough to show a time when we were charging any amount other than $25 per bottle for this wine, which essentially means that we have kept the price steady for at least a decade. I'm not inclined to dust off our old paper records in order to provide a firm date, but suffice it to say it's been $25 for a long time.
So a price increase does a couple of things for us. It will slow down sales. Hopefully to the point that we can stretch our 2014 stock to the end of 2016 and avoid an out-of-stock situation. It also makes the price a little more "realistic." The fact that we have raised the price by 28% and we are STILL among the most affordable Ice Wines made the decision a little less painful for us.
It will take a little time for the price change to trickle out in our distributor network, so there will be a window of opportunity for you to go out and purchase Ice Wine at or near the "old" $25 price for another month or so. Of course in telling you this, I am not doing us any favors, either financially or in the aim of preserving our inventory for a long as possible.
But I suppose that’s a benefit for reading this far down the post.
I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have.