• Vintage Economics

    Market Research and Analytics for a New Era in Wine

  • About Vintage Economics

    In January 2023, I took a position as a wine economist with Terrain, the economic and analytics arm of American AgCredit. Please visit the Terrain website at www.terrainag.com to view my latest research.


    You can reach me at cbitter@terrainag.com.

  • Chris Bitter, PhD

    Founder and Wine Economist

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    Dr. Chris Bitter, founder of Vintage Economics, is a wine economist with more than twenty years of experience in market analysis and applied economics. His research has been published in a variety of national and international publications including the Journal of Wine Economics and he has delivered presentations at wine industry conferences around the globe. Chris left his academic position in 2016 to launch Vintage Economics with the goal of providing market analysis and intelligence to help position clients for success in a rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive market environment. Prior to launching Vintages Economics, Chris spent seven years on the faculty with the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies where his teaching and research focused on market analysis and valuation. Chris has also held senior positions as an economist and market analyst in the private sector with RREEF, a prominent commercial real estate investment advisor, and the Dorchester Group, a boutique consulting firm focused on complex valuation-related assignments. Chris holds a Doctorate from the University of Arizona in Economic Geography with a minor in Agricultural and Resource Economics, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Anthropology.
  • Consulting Services

    Market Analysis and Forecasting

    In today's hyper-competitive and rapidly evolving market environment, accurate and nuanced assessments of market dynamics are more important than ever. A well-informed and appropriately segmented market study is an essential tool for strategic planning, identifying opportunities and risks, and developing realistic financial assumptions.


    But wine market data tend to be fragmented, incomplete and often conflicting. Vintage Economics separates the signal from the noise to help clients navigate the evolving market and make better-informed and more profitable decisions. Areas of expertise include wine and grape market analysis and forecasting; market and consumer trends; competitive analysis; and strategic market assessments.

    Data Analytics

    The proliferation of "big" data tracking consumers and their purchasing behavior, along with the growing volume of internal data wineries are collecting through their own POS software and customer databases, has the potential to transform the wine business similarly to the way that "Money Ball" revolutionized the business of baseball.


    Vintage Economics leverages its data and analytical expertise to unlock insights that enable clients to more effectively segment and target consumers; grow their direct-to-consumer sales and wine clubs; optimize pricing; and improve operational efficiency. We also help clients to appreciate the benefits and limitations of predictive analytics and how they can exploit their data to maximum advantage.

    Market Targeting

    Wine consumer spending is highly correlated with demographic attributes including income, age, educational attainment, sex, and race/ethnicity, as well as geographic variables like region and city size. Consumer segments with the greatest value to wine tend to cluster in small pockets in urban areas throughout the country.


    We leverage our geodemographic data, proprietary wine consumer projections, and third-party market data to target markets and submarkets with the highest concentrations of potential customers, enabling brands to drive profitability and growth by focusing marketing efforts on areas with the highest potential return on investment.  

    Strategic Studies

    The wine industry is facing an array of disruptive challenges including economic uncertainty, demographic and generational shifts, a rapidly evolving consumer and path to market, climate change, rising cost pressures, and competition with alternative and emerging alcoholic beverage categories, among others. This rapidly evolving environment presents both opportunities and threats to wine-related businesses. 


    Success in the new era for wine requires a broad perspective and forward-looking focus. Vintage Economics designs and executes customized research projects to help clients achieve a nuanced understanding of emerging trends and their strategic implications. 

  • Data & Reports

    Research, analytics, and intelligence to promote better-informed decisions

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    Geodemographic Targeting Data

    Where are your potential customers located?

    We provide metrics on the size and demographic composition of the legal drinking age (LDA) population, wine buying and spending projections, and wine consumer demographic profiles for states, market areas, and 2400 submarket areas covering the United States.


    LDA demographic estimates are derived from US Census Bureau micro data and can be cross tabulated to delineate finely tuned consumer segments that are most relevant to your brand. We create wine buying and spending projections via our proprietary predictive analytics model. Drawing on household level consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the model predicts wine consumer behavior based on an areas's demographic composition, size, and location within the country.


    Our geodemographic data and wine consumer projections afford a cost-effective means of targeting markets and submarkets with the highest concentrations of potential customers for your brand. They also enable clients to tailor sales and marketing strategy to the prospective composition of the wine consumer base within a given area.


    The data and analytics are updated annually and can be customized to clients’ specific requirements and unique target markets. They can be purchased for the entire nation or specific geographies of interest.


    Click here to see a set of sample metrics. Please contact Chris Bitter for additional information.

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    Demographics and Wine

    Published December 2021

    Demographics are crucially important to wineries and the wine trade. But relevant data are hard to find and often incomplete and conflicting. Demographics and Wine provides the most comprehensive and nuanced information and analysis on U.S. wine consumer demographics available.


    Demographics play a vital role in shaping the propensity to buy wine – and some groups are far more impactful than others – particularly in the upper tiers of the market. Demographics and Wine clarifies the audience for wine and provides insights into consumer behavior to inform segmentation, customer targeting, and marketing strategy.


    The U.S. is also undergoing a profound demographic transition that is altering the composition of the wine consumer base and creating potential headwinds for wine demand. The report highlights the opportunities and threats associated with demographic change and their implications for strategic planning and marketing.


    The report is based on analysis of public use micro data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditures Survey, which collects two-week spending diaries from approximately 6,000 households per year. Households are segmented by age, income, education, race/ethnicity, sex, and generation. The new edition of Demographics and Wine, published December 2021, includes data through 2020.


    Click here for a detailed description of the content.


    Regular price: $595. Discounted small business / nonprofit price: $395.


    Use the online store to purchase by credit card. If you would prefer to pay by check, please call 206-981-6885.


    Washington Wine Industry Report

    The Washington Winery Report

    Published May 2021

    The Washington Winery Report is an annual publication that provides shipment and production totals for the past year for all 1000+ Washington winery licenses as well as more extensive metrics for wineries that shipped at least 1,000 cases, including shipments broken down by sales channel and three years of historic data on total shipments and net production. It also contains industry statistics and winery rankings.


    The report represents the most comprehensive source of intelligence available on Washington wineries and wine shipment trends. The metrics will be valuable to wineries for benchmarking performance, growers and service providers for generating new business leads, and others seeking insight into the Washington wine industry more generally. Click here for a sample of the report.


    Regular Price: $495. Small Business Price: $350.


    Use the online store to purchase by credit card. If you would prefer to pay by check, please call 206-981-6885.

    Washington Wine Industry Intelligence

    Available Upon Request

    Leveraging its proprietary databases and industry contacts, Vintage Economics supplies customized metrics and intelligence on the Washington wine industry including:

    • Monthly wine shipment metrics broken down by sales channel
    • Data for individual wineries including size, shipments by channel, production, ownership, locations, tasting rooms, etc.
    • Grape production, pricing, and acreage trends
    • Washington State wine sales by volume and market share by company

    Applications include winery performance benchmarking; targeting customers for grapes, services or equipment sales; identifying and evaluating acquisition targets; or tracking industry performance trends.


    Click here to download a winery metrics sample.

    California Grape Market Data

    Available Upon Request

    The California Grape Crush Report is an indispensable source of information on the state’s grape markets. However, the report provides only a narrow set of metrics, which limit its usefulness for market analysis. For example, the weighted average prices it presents are heavily biased toward large contracts and have little relevance for “boutique” segment of the market. Moreover, the annual report includes only one-year comparisons, making it difficult and time consuming to situate pricing and crush trends within a longer-term context.


    Vintage Economics has developed a broader range of proprietary metrics based on the crush report data, including pricing benchmarks and price indexes segmented by contract size, and more than twenty years of historical data. They enable clients to gain a more nuanced understanding of grape pricing and market trends by varietal and district and support better informed decisions. Click here to view sample metrics. Please contact Chris Bitter with questions or to purchase metrics.

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    U.S. Wine & BevAlc Imports & Exports

    Available Upon Request

    Our comprehensive and timely metrics on U.S. wine import and export trends enable clients to better understand import demand and competition, monitor the performance of individual countries within the U.S. marketplace, and evaluate potential export opportunities.

    • Imports by volume, value, country of origin & destination state
    • Exports volume, value, state of origin and destination country
    • Metrics can be broken down by wine category and packaging type
    • Available on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
    • Released approximately 5 weeks after the end of the month
    • Data on spirits, beer and refreshment beverages are also available
    Click here for a sample.

    Canadian Wine & BevAlc Imports & Exports

    Available Upon Request

    Canada ranks 8th globally in wine imports, and imported wines (including bulk shipments bottled in Canada) comprise 85% of the market. The metrics can be broken down by country of origin as well destination province to provide a nuanced view of Canadian wine market trends.

    • Imports by volume, value, country of origin & destination province
    • Exports volume, value, province of origin and destination country
    • Metrics can be broken down by wine category and packaging type
    • Available on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
    • Released approximately 5 weeks after the end of the month
    • Data on spirits, beer and refreshment beverages are also available
    Click here for a sample.
  • The Washington Wine Industry Update

    Click the box to download a copy of our free Washington wine industry newsletter and sign up below to receive notification when new issues are released. I'll be publishing the newsletter once year (in February) from this point forward. The Washington Winery Report 2021 provides more comprehensive information, including shipment and production metrics for all Washington wineries. Visit the store to purchase a copy, or contact Chris Bitter to purchase updated metrics at any point throughout the year.

  • Dr. Bitter's Blog

  • Purchase Reports

  • Contact Vintage Economics

    Carmel, California