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Three-Year Forecast of Washington Wine Grape Prices

I am continually creating forecasts for clients: land prices, expenses, acreage numbers, labor rates, revenue and, especially, grape prices. But those forecasts can be narrowly focused. For instance, a client may want a forecast for the 80th percentile price for Pinot Noir in Sonoma County. That means I spend a great deal of time looking at specific segments of the West Coast wine grape market.

As I have discussed before, we humans have a huge design flaw: our tendency to let cognitive biases dictate our views and decisions. To avoid this, I have decided to methodically take a broader look at the West Coast wine grape market. I plan to forecast the overall, average price of wine grapes grown across many, if not all, wine grape-producing regions of California, Oregon and Washington. I also plan to make these forecasts public.

My goals in making these forecasts public are three-fold. First, I hope the industry makes use of them and this leads to greater use of quantitative analysis for decision-making. Second, I hope that some of my readers are prompted to get in touch and see how my forecasting skills can benefit their businesses. Finally, while I keep detailed, internal records of my forecasting results and accuracy, nothing is as transparent and useful as a public record. I have made many public forecasts and review them each year. I have not kept great public records, however. This project will present a good starting point for creating such a record. I believe that I am the best forecaster of wine grape prices and intend to provide proof.

I have put the forecasts near the top of this document, since I know that is the most interesting part. I would strongly recommend that, if you intend to make any use of these forecasts, that you read the whole document. Understand what these forecasts mean, a bit about how they were created and also how to adjust them as the future unfolds.

I invite you to make requests. Whichever region(s) get the most requests will be published first. I cannot promise any timeline, as I must prioritize client work. The forecasts I may generate are only for all wine grapes (no specific variety and not including table grapes crushed for wine.) In addition to this forecast of Washington prices, I will consider Oregon’s statewide prices, any of USDA’s 17 California Grape Pricing Districts and California’s statewide price.

Finally, let me ask for your pardon in advance if proof-reading or presentation are a bit lacking. As this is not a paying client project, I have emphasized content, but not presentation, to reduce the work involved in making this public.

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