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2.5

Value (in billions of U.S.$—R36.3 billion) of revenue lost by the South African alcohol industry due to the country’s three separate alcohol sales bans since the coronavirus pandemic began. Industry professionals are urging their government to consider measures other than prohibition to address problems associated with the misuse of alcohol. More than 200K people who work in the wine, beer, and spirits industries are at risk of losing their jobs because of the sales bans.

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1987

Vintage of the youngest bottle of wine, from late mafia crime boss John Gotti’s cellar, available for purchase at Enoteca LIC in Long Island City, NY. Gotti’s son, John “Junior,” has consigned part of the wine collection through wine shop owner Tony D’Aiuto, his former criminal defense attorney. Each bottle of wine comes with a certificate of authenticity, proving it was part of the “Dapper Don’s” collection. Wines include Petrus, Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Château Lafite Rothschild, and Château Margaux.

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4

Hours it took the crowdfunding campaign for the new Portuguese wine book Foot Trodden to reach its target. That makes the book, by wine writer Simon J. Woolf and writer and photographer Ryan Opaz, the fastest-funded wine book ever. Launched on February 18, the Kickstarter campaign has attracted almost 300 backers and remains open until March 17. Backers receive rewards depending on how much they invest—from a discounted copy of the book to a luxury tour of Portugal’s wine regions.

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170

Value (in millions of U.S.$) of the upper end of competing bids for the recently built 85-room Four Seasons hotel in Napa Valley. At around $2 million per room, the offers, if taken, would make the sale one of the three priciest hotel purchases in the U.S. Prospective investors are confident in their valuation because last fall’s wildfires damaged Meadowood and destroyed Calistoga Ranch (two of Napa’s high-end resort properties), reducing competition.

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1961

Vintage of the latest release by Taylor Fladgate of Single Harvest Vintage Port. Only 65 cases of this extraordinary 60-year-old Port are available in the U.S. for $395 per bottle. To put the age of this Port into perspective, it was made from a single year’s harvest as the first man in the world went into space, and it has been aging in oak casks ever since. Besides Vintage Ports, Taylor Fladgate also holds some of the most substantial reserves of aging Tawny Ports in the world.

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3

Percentage of French winegrowers who currently farm with draft horses, according to the Equivigne Project. As the wine industry seeks to use fewer chemical inputs and fossil fuels, more vintners are turning to the gentle giants (draft horses can weigh up to 2,000 pounds). Unlike tractors, horses’ hooves neither overly compact the soil or disturb it, considerably limiting erosion in regions with heavy rainfall. And as one grower attests, “they are good company.”

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106k

Number of unique new wine products approved by the TTB (U.S. Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau) in 2020. Whenever a winery makes specific changes to a wine’s label (such as new graphics, wording, or the bottler or importer), it must get new label approval, and the wine is considered a “new product.” The only changes a winery can make without getting approval are revising the alcohol content, changing the vintage, and amending the label’s shape, background color, and fonts.

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0.39

Percentage of the $103 billion global chocolate market attributable to liquor confectionery—chocolate filled or infused with alcohol. Other infused-with-alcohol edibles include jellybeans and gummies. European chocolatiers produce most of the top brands. Belgian chocolate-maker Neuhaus, for instance, produces chocolates filled with Glenfiddich Whisky, Cointreau, Pampero Rum, Smirnoff Vodka, and Remy Martin Cognac. (Not blended all together of course).

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155

Amount (in millions of U.S.$) raised by Vivino.com from investors in its latest round of private financing. The company that introduced its wine recommendation app ten years ago, plans to use the massive cash infusion to boost the technology around its personalized recommendation engine. The number of wine drinkers who use Vivino has grown from 29 million in 2018 to 50 million today. The company’s marketplace allows users to buy wines recommended for them directly from the app via its retail partners.

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46.5

Percentage of all U.S. winery owners who consider selling their winery in 2021 “a possibility.” According to Silicon Valley Bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry report released last week, interest in selling is highest in the Sierra Foothills of California (80%), where most wineries are dependent on tasting-room sales. It’s likely that the worldwide pandemic and west coast wildfires have given winery owners pause with respect to the future of the U.S. wine industry.

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12.9

Number (in millions) of wines listed by online wine and spirits retailer Vivino, since its founding in 2010. Even if the pandemic hadn’t boosted internet wine sales, consumers can now find an exponentially larger selection of wines online than in bricks-and-mortar shops. Free shipping from online merchants is driving larger orders and attracting new customers. Old school store fronts who’ve established an online presence report that up to 65% of their web customers are new to them.

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110k

Number of restaurants closed for business temporarily, or for good, as of the end of 2020. According to the 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry report released last week by the National Restaurant Association, of restaurants that closed for good, the majority were well-established (in business, on average, for 16 years) and fixtures in their communities—16% of them had been open for at least 30 years. Only 48% of restaurant owners think they’ll return to the restaurant industry in the months or years ahead.