The wine industry is facing a glass bottle shortage

A row of fire damaged grapevines at a vineyard on September 30, 2020 in St. Helena, California.
A row of fire damaged grapevines at a vineyard on September 30, 2020 in St. Helena, California. Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There is yet another victim of supply chain shortages caused by the pandemic – the wine industry.

Amidst fires and droughts, growers have yet another crisis on their hands. This time, Napa Valley grape growers are facing a shortage of glass wine bottles.

Listen to your favorite News/Talk station now on Audacy

Podcast Episode
Total Recall: California’s Political Circus
Hasta La Vista Gray Davis
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

Vineyards are grappling with a shortage of glass for bottles, threatening the California wine industry.

The new shortage has become, "a huge issue right now with sourcing glass for the entire industry," said Stephanie Honig, of the Honig Vineyard & Winery in Rutherford, Napa County.

The new deficit of glass has given new weight to alternative packaging options for such a large industry in California. "There are alternative packaging – cans, boxes, but you can’t do that on the fly if you’re struggling with getting glass," said Honig.

And it’s unlikely that some consumers will be interested in purchasing what is normally a high quality wine in an elegant bottle that now comes in a box.

"There is some innovation that’s going to follow down the road," said Malik Amrani of The Vice, a small batch Napa wine brand. "But it’s going to be hard to be able to sell a luxury craft wine in some alternative packaging for now."

While growers wait for glass to become available, this year’s vintages are just going to age a bit more than usual before hitting the market.

The shortage also comes in the wake of multiple wildfires ravaging Northern California.

In mid-August, firefighters battled Dixie, Cache, and Caldor Fires that raged throughout Northern California. The Dixie Fire became the third-biggest in California history.

In May, Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke about the largest wildfire and emergency investment in state history in Sacramento County on Monday. His proposed $2 billion investment, up from its original $1 billion.

“None of us are naive about the challenges that this state faces,” Newsom said, adding, “The hots are getting hotter. The dries are getting a lot drier.”

The increased budget will allow an expansion of the state’s airborne firefighting fleet and 1,400 new firefighters.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram