‘We’re doing our best’: Local winemakers work to keep prices down as they struggle with supply-chain issues

SPOKANE, Wash.– Sitting back and relaxing with a glass of wine could be getting more expensive.

Supply chain issues are driving up the cost. A global glass shortage and shortages of cork, labels, foils, and labor are forcing winemakers to pay more to produce a bottle.

“We were being charged $200 a ton in order to handpick grapes for our higher-end wines,” said Craig Leuthold, owner of Maryhill Winery. “That cost is anywhere from $300 to $400 a ton, depending on the vineyard.”

The glass shortage is impacting winemakers the most, forcing them to change their signature look or find alternatives. For example, Maryhill Winery’s Reserve bottle of Rose will have to be changed since the glass bottle is not in production this year.

Production costs are going to be reflected in costs to the people who buy the wine. For the second time in the company’s history, Maryhill Winery will be increasing prices.

“Retail bottles are going up between $2 and $3 a bottle, on wines that retail between $10 and $15,” he said. “For more expensive wines, over $20 or $25 dollars, it could be as much as $5 a bottle.”

It’s the same for Arbor Crest Wine Cellars. Owner Kristina van Loben Sels had to stock up on bottles and pay 40 percent more for the bottle of the Dionysus Columbia Valley.

“Across the board, we’re probably going to see, maybe a 10 percent, maybe a 20 percent increase on some wines,” van Loben Sels said. “It just depends.”

She said for the first time in her almost 30 years of winemaking she has to stock up on glass bottles. Usually, they’re something they buy as they go.

Leuthold said it’s frustrating.

“We like to have continuity, we want consumers to be able to recognize our wines when they go from, to go from a grocery store to a tasting room, it’s the same bottle and the same package.”

Maryhill Winery will start increasing prices sometime between May and June.

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Source: KXLY.com