Vineyard Analytics

My ambition is to work with a leading university in the UK to provide PhD level research and insights for the wine industry in conjunction with a recognised wine sponsor within the global wine world.  As part of this I would like to work with small to medium sized wineries on a consultancy basis offering insights and outcomes that benefit their business, whilst contributing to the overall body of PhD work.

I want to focus my MBA and business experiences with my WSET Wine Diploma and wine industry experience to provide the wine industry with better understanding of the relationships between harvest cycles, vintage release timings, and financial profitability of vineyards

My focus : I work with wineries and vineyards in conjunction with wider PhD based research to produce

Long term improvements to profitability, brand equity and shareholder return over and above those of similar vineyards

I develop specific, measurable, relevant metrics to understand the relationships between harvest, vineyard yields, and the wines produced. I illustrate how and when metrics I develop should be used to make more effective and better informed strategic decisions at board level around product positioning, pricing, channels to market, distribution partners and vintage release timing.

Better understanding of wine pricing versus vintage release dates which allows better cash flow, market funding, and profitability of the lifetime of the harvest

Too many vineyards under-price wine because they base their selling price on either the previous vintage or competitors operating in the same market space. Without proper management, vineyards can lose control of the price their wines are sold at and find discounting decisions which reflect negatively on their brand are being taken without their consent.

I work with vineyards to understand the full financial potential of a harvest along side the cash flow and liquidity requirements of the business. I can assess past performance and benchmark this against other vineyards with similar harvest operating conditions.  I measure the impact of decisions around release dates and extended maturation periods to project future profitability versus business liquidity / available cash reserves in the business for capital investment

Balanced scorecard for vineyards.  In partnership with vineyards from around the world and my PhD research, my objective is to create a balanced score card for the wine industry which considers

            • distribution supply chains and relationships alongside their long term reliability and exclusivity
            • sustainability of the business and an assessment of organic, biodynamic, and natural wine making competitors
            • Impact of vintage variation and the likely impact of climate change on this
            • brand values, label & brand recognition and loyalty, brand story and an assessment of how it resonates with consumers
            • provenance / terroir claims and how valuable and distinctive they may be to consumers
            • alternative revenue streams (such as tourism).

For smaller vineyards this will highlight areas for strategic focus and development, as well as highlighting core competencies and true competitive advantage within in the business.  Medium to large vineyards can use this framework to prioritise investments, assess potential acquisitions, create innovation, and protect shareholder returns through a clear understanding of their positioning relative to the competitive set.

As the balanced scorecard is developed, I will publish a series of case studies illustrating best in class examples for each element of the scorecard and demonstrate how vineyards have used this to create a clear positioning, point of difference, and competitive advantage which has increased profitability in the long term

Vintage variation and an assessment of the impact on price / product quality / brand reputation

I am developing a Boston Matrix style harvest appraisal framework, which allows vineyards to map the quality and volume of harvested grape juice and contrast this with previous vintages, competitors, and benchmarks from other regions.

The framework allows vineyards to model potential price and profitability of wines alongside their quality and the potential impact on brand reputation

This flows into a decision-making framework which helps vineyards to better appraise and consider which wines to make, when to release them, under which label / brand, and into which market place. This process improves vineyard profitability and shareholder returns.

The disproportionate impact of social media on a brands reputation versus the legacy of a family producer with multiple generations of family ownership

Frameworks and business models that help vineyards appraise the impact of climate change on vines from a commercial perspective, the wine production potential from these crops, sustainable wine making options, and their potential to make returns on investment for investors and shareholders

Please contact me if this interests you in any way, as a vineyard, a collaborator, a university, or sponsor. norman.comfort@getcomfortable.co.uk