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Labor to Lead Top Concerns at Vineyard Economics Seminar

Submitted By: Lisa Adams Walter, May 05, 2016
Results from the annual Vineyard Economics Survey conducted by the Wine Industry Symposium Group will be presented by David Freed later this month at the 21st Annual Vineyard Economics Seminar, set for Wednesday, May 25, 2016 in Napa, California at the Napa Valley Marriott. Early results of the survey reveal that the top four concerns from survey respondents include:

Labor Shortage (53.9% of respondents)
Impact of Vineyard Pests / Disease such as Pierce’s Disease / Leaf Roll / Red Blotch (35.5% of respondents)
Water Availability (35.5% of respondents)
Political Impact / Fall Elections (25% of respondents)

Water was the hot topic last year and this year for grape growers the hottest topic is labor. One session of panelists will focus upon issues for growers and the message from the panelists mirrors the results of the survey, as they have stated that with labor, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Increased mechanization will result in a lower availability of labor.

John Azevedo, Director of Grower Relations for Jackson Family Wines who sill sit on the panel, agrees that labor is a major issue of today, “There will be an increase in costs. Availability of labor is getting progressively worse every year. We feel it in California as we have a lot of labor intensive agriculture, while it is a bit different across the other states that need farm labor. It’s different in other places, but it’s clear that labor is a national issue.” The other panelists, in addition to Moderator Cyril Penn of Wine Business Communications, will include Mark Couchman of Silverado Investment Management Company and Scott Warren of Constellation Brands, Inc.

The Vineyard Economics Seminar is a popular annual event produced by the Wine Industry Symposium Group which provides an educational and enlightening full-day conference of sessions led by Wine Industry Experts and Wine Business Leaders with a focus upon the issues and economics of producing, growing and selling wine grapes.

The 2016 Vineyard Economics Seminar sponsors include: American Ag Credit; Bank of the West Commercial Banking; Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM) Accountants and Consultants; Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross Attorneys; CoBank; Dickenson, Peatman and Fogarty; Farm Credit West; Moss Adams, LLP Certified Public Accountants / Business Consultants; PricewaterhouseCoopers. Media sponsors include: Vineyard & Winery Management; Wine Business Monthly and Wines & Vines (now including Practical Winery & Vineyard). For more information or to register visit