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Local wineries feel the effect of inflation

Posted at 8:54 AM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 09:54:47-04

MUKWONAGO — It seems we are paying more for almost everything, from a new car or truck to the gas to drive it. Weekly groceries cost more, and so does booking travel. And now, wine.

Inflation is hitting American consumers at levels we've not seen in more than 40 years and Milwaukee area wineries are not immune.

At Pieper Porch Winery in Mukwonago, every piece of doing business is costing more, from freight to fruit.

"The bigger increases are glass and the price of glass, our bottles, on June 1st have increased by almost 20%," said Todd Pieper, owner of Pieper Porch Winery.

It's no secret that smaller wineries are going to feel the pressure more than the big wine-makers.

"We've been okay. We've had to a little price increase. Unfortunately, that's just the way it goes, like everything else," Pieper said.

Buying by the case could save you some cash. It's a trend that caught on during the pandemic and Pieper Porch says it's been a silver lining.

"We have very faithful customers, I would say. Many of them have been around since day one and keep coming back and our staff is excellent so that helps," Pieper said.

Up and running for 11 years now, distribution has never been a huge focus, so the bulk of business happens right at the winery, which means they are also watching the price of gas closely.

"Indirectly that affects us too because we are a little off the beaten path and I don't know how much people are actually taking a weekend drive in the country like they used to," Pieper said.

The winery might look at extending hours to allow more time for sales. But, they're confident they'll be okay because as long as there are thirsty customers, it's wine-o-clock somewhere.

"Well what I like to say, is, the old adage is, in bad times people drink and in good times people drink so..." Pieper said.

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