Local wineries say supply chain issues and shortages affect prices

INDIANAPOLIS – AT Easley Wine Estate in downtown Indianapolis, it’s all about quality.

“We want to make sure that when our customers pop the cork or twist the cork, that’s what they expect,” said Meredith Easley, vice president of sales and marketing.

It’s the same mentality that made their products, like Reggae Wineso popular, but these days it takes a bit more to savor a sip.

Easley said it starts in the vineyard.

“With the increase in diesel prices for tractors, as well as labor, actual pruning and just tending to the vines and the vineyard, those prices have gone up,” he said. she declared.

When it comes to wine making, Easley said prices are also rising from corks used to the production of glass bottles themselves. In many cases, she said the increases range from 15% to 35% on a monthly basis.

“We may get a notice from a glass company, ‘hey, prices are going to go up 20%,'” she said. “Making the labels, the caps that come from Portugal, the paper that we get out of Washington, all those costs have gone up.”

“Since natural gas prices have gone up, the prices to feed those furnaces to make the glass have gone up,” she added, “and that’s linked to the crisis in Ukraine, the demand for natural gas and limited supply”.

Along with this, Easley said they are also experiencing longer delivery times, especially as shortages of items like label paper continue.

“Our labels, we could turn them around in about two months, now it takes 120 days,” she said.

Easley said these challenges affect not just Easley Winery, but many others across the state.

“Many companies are struggling to get the products they normally use,” said Professor Kyle Cattani, of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Cattani said supply chain disruptions have continued over the past two years since the pandemic, causing shortages, inflation and backups at distribution ports.

He said consumers would soon feel the impact, if they haven’t already, when it comes to their favorite products.

“You can expect to pay more, if there’s a shortage, and the other is that you might have to wait,” he said.

Easley said they were cutting corners where they could to delay rising prices for consumers. However, as they maintain the quality of their product, higher prices will eventually be part of the plan.

“You might see packaging changes with Reggae wines. You will see an increase in prices,” Easley said.

“Consumers have moved to Stelvin, or twist-on closures, so you’ll see us switch to that packaging,” she added. “We’re trying to minimize what doesn’t impact our quality, but maybe just minimize some of the packaging costs.”

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