SAN DIEGO — Wineries and distilleries are feeling the impact of supply chain issues. Shipping backups, labor woes, and a trucker shortage are leading to a lower supply of glass bottles and higher prices.
Jesse Fanning is feeling the pinch at his whiskey distillery and tasting room near San Diego, California. His business, Henebery, has grown over the last nine years, but these days, his passion for making spirits has been shaken.
“We’re living bottle to bottle, a day at a time,” Fanning says, looking at his mostly empty supply room. He says what he has in stock is just enough to fulfill the next order, and that stock came at a high price.
“Even domestically, we’re at a 20% increase already,” he says, “and these are glass bottles that are already created.” He adds, ”I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Fanning says, he has not passed the cost on to his customers – yet. “So far, I haven’t raised prices yet, but I mean, it’s inevitable.”
Dana La Fleur owns a micro-winery and is president of a southern California collective representing urban wineries, meaderies, and cideries. “Most of us are looking for different distributors,” she says.
La Fleur says it could get worse in the new year. It’s a concern since wineries need many types of bottles. “We’ll use Bordeaux bottles, burgundy bottles, bottles for chardonnay. They’re all shaped different and have different purposes.”
With demand high and a busy holiday season, consumers may struggle to find some of their favorite spirits. One store in Texas is even limiting sales.
It’s not clear when the bottle shortage will ease.
And the supply problems for distilleries and wineries aren’t limited to bottles, they are also having a hard time getting corks and labels.