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 mitigate this and improve my understanding of the West Coast wine grape market, I have decided to methodically take a broader look at that 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 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. On that note, this forecast, unfortunately, isn’t as thorough as the forecast for Washington wine grape prices. That was due to a busy schedule. I hope to return to thorough forecasts in the future.
To download the document (a Word file), visit my new page for archiving all public forecasts from today onward.