Never before in nearly 30 years in the wine trade have I known so many challenges but feel relieved that being a small independent merchant we can mitigate a lot of the issues.
Most of the biggest challenges are around getting stock in- from a shortage of delivery drivers, over flowing distribution hubs, lack of container space to bad weather in South American ports it is almost a perfect storm. It would be easy to blame Brexit or COVID 19, which I’m sure play a part but for me the issue is a positive one - the On Trade has bounced back better and faster than predicted. This welcome demand has caused most of the blockages in the supply chain.
Certain wine producing regions around the world have seen small crops and or demand outstripping supply. South America and New Zealand have issues now and Europe will have some early next year.
At Bristol Fine Wine we deliver everything on our own vans, so we don’t have to rely on big national distribution companies to get our stock out. Secondly we keep most of our stock duty paid so we can access it quickly, hence 99% of our deliveries are done within 24 hours (often same day) of ordering.
Some lines will sadly be out of stock for all these reasons but we have done all we can to mitigate this. From shipping much earlier, massively increasing our stock holding and communicating with our customers to avoid any unexpected large or abnormal orders we believe we are in a good position to give our cherished customers the service they expect over the Christmas period.