The rate of transition may slow for US west coast wineries, but plenty of deals are still expected

The rate of transition may slow for US west coast wineries, but plenty of deals are still expected

One in ten US west coast wineries are “strongly considering” selling up in the next five years, with Washington owners the most likely to divest, according to a survey. 

The 'Ownership Transitions in the Wine Industry' study, compiled by Silicon Valley Bank, found that 10.5% of the 646 wine firms questioned across California, Oregon and Washington are seriously considering a sale. Extrapolating that figure to the west coast's 5,000 wineries, 524 fall into the bracket.  

Meanwhile, nearly a third, 31%, said they would consider selling “under the right circumstances”. However, this figure is down on a similar survey from 2008, when 51% of wineries said they were thinking of a sale. 

Silicon Valley Bank said the findings show the industry is “partially through the predicted transition”. Based on its findings, the bank said sales are expected to be led by “smaller wineries, many of whose properties include personal residences”. 

Around 48% of the predicted winery sales will occur in businesses that produce more than 5,000 cases annually, the report found.

Rob McMillan, the report's author and founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division said: “The current pace of ownership transitions in the last - and next - few years is the highest the west coast wine industry has ever seen.”

Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division specialises in commercial banking for premium wineries and vineyards and the industries that support them. 

Sales of Californian wines in the US rose by 5% last year, according to latest figures.

To read an exclusive just-drinks comment piece on the shift of Oregon's wine industry into the mainstream, click here 

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