Truck shipping

New Jersey wineries battle rising wine packaging and shipping costs

MULLICA HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) – Wineries are being hit hard by the high cost of supplies, and they are also facing supply shortages.

While there’s no shortage of wine, the cost of packing and shipping bottles of wine has gone up, according to some employees at New Jersey wineries.

Rich Heritage, director of sales and marketing at William Heritage Winery, said he was trying to find ways to reduce packaging costs by selling canned wine and cask wine.

“It’s been a real challenge. Honestly, in the 11 years I’ve been doing this, it’s the worst I’ve ever seen,” Heritage said.

Some of these costs are passed on to the consumer, which increases the price of a bottle of wine.

“I noticed, yeah, but it’s okay. It’s still a nice product,” said Tymeka Hurst, of Berlin, New Jersey.

Heritage said at its Mullica Hill winery it was hurting profitability by trying not to significantly raise prices for customers as its costs rose

“I would normally pay $900 freight for a glass truck. We now pay about $1,800 freight plus the surprise $500 surcharge on the invoice as well,” Heritage said.

Prices also piled up at Autumn Lake Winery in Williamstown, according to Megan Cosentino, tasting room manager at Autumn Lake Winery.

“The price of wine has gone up because things like labels have gotten more expensive, things like corks have gotten more expensive,” Cosentino said.

A local economist said he doesn’t think winemakers will lower their prices, so he recommends customers get large reusable bottles.

“Start buying your wine in bulk…use less glass,” said Michael Lahr, director of Rutgers Economic Advisory Service.

Lots of people said they would order less when they go out.

“We’ll still be drinking, but you’re looking for quality more,” said Tiffany Lindabury, of Marlton, New Jersey.

At William Heritage Winery, they try to get creative by extending the hours and bringing in local music, to get people out.

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