Winemakers are facing new challenges at one of the worst possible times. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, and drought, the wine industry’s supply chain has taken a crippling blow: bottle shortages and a surplus of wine. To make matters worse, many winemakers are just now harvesting this season’s grapes.
“If you don’t have the bottles that you need, how are you going to get the product out of barrels and to customers?” said Michael Kaiser, vice president of government affairs at WineAmerica told USA Today.
Many businesses in the wine industry have expressed various problems that stem from the bottle shortage, according to the article.
The glass shortage is forcing some winemakers to let wine age in wooden barrels for too long, which can lead to the drink tasting “like a sawmill,” Phil Long, the owner of Longevity Wines in Livermore, California, told Business Insider.
California reported its warmest summer on record this year as 18% of the U.S. experienced record-warm temperatures, and severe to extreme drought is affecting about 35% of the country, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).