Our AVA Winery Manager Peter Johnson has been immersed in the wine industry for decades. As times change, like wine, some trends age finely, while others don’t. We sat down with  Peter to get his thoughts on some of the buzziest topics in wine today.

How will consumer wine buying trends change in the year ahead?

The trend of buying wine online will continue to grow as laws change. States that previously blocked wine sales from out of state sources will start allowing consumers to purchase wine from whomever they choose. This wider variety will lead to better competition, meaning great wine offerings for consumers. Wineries should update the way they do business in order to broaden their reach, or in other words, “take their show on the road!” GM does not make you go to Detroit to purchase a car, so why do the Chateaus make you travel to the winery just to have access to their special bottles?

How will members of the wine industry innovate to appeal to a larger Millennial audience that has different criteria they expect from the wine drinking experience?

And now you’ve asked the $2 million question! Wineries definitely have their work cut out for them. Millennials have not been gravitating towards wine like prior generations and we’ve started to see a flattening out in wine consumption for the first time in 25 years.  Since the explosion of craft beer over the past 15 years, Millennials have more options to choose from than previous generations and that has equated into a smaller percentage of that generation gravitating towards wine.

The wineries in Napa and Sonoma should have representatives travel around the country to provide top-notch experiences for the younger generation, such as food and wine pairings using really rare bottles served at incredible restaurants. Millennials are seeking an incredible experience (an updated twist on a winemaker dinner), but most are not at all interested in collecting wine or investing thousands of dollars in the tangible asset of wine.

How will technology continue to advance the wine industry this year?

From a production standpoint, I think optical sorting machines will continue to be top of mind to help to remove poor quality berries from every being placed into the fermentation tanks. By removing those imperfect berries it helps to improve the quality of wine being produced.

From a wine sales perspective, it’s all about data capture! Amazon knows everything about what you purchase or want to purchase. Netflix knows everything about your TV viewing habits and what you like to watch. Uber knows everything about your travel patterns. It’s time that the wine industry evolves too. Data is all around us, improving ways to successfully capture that data, then analyzing what they’ve gathered will be invaluable as we move forward. Only 8% of wineries have a full-time person who captures and analyzes data, 67% have none.

Which wine growing regions do you believe will grow the most in enotourism?

As east coast wineries continue to improve the quality of their facilities and enhancing the tasting room experience, more visitors will end up staying close to home and indulging on locally produced wines.

What are your thoughts on these top of mind trends in wine? We Want to know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments, or over social media by tagging our handle @Coravin.