Winery Year-End Checklist (2021)

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Harvest is over, and winemakers everywhere are looking forward to winding down for the holidays.

It’s time to make sure the winery in immaculate condition and get the paperwork out of the way as quickly as possible. 

Having an organized list of year-end chores and tasks is essential. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a short checklist of things every winery should consider after harvest.

1. Ditch the Spreadsheets

Seriously, it’s time to say goodbye.

As a winemaker, you’ve been on your feet for really long hours and you are tired. The last thing you want to do is spend a ton of time sitting behind a desk translating paper records to spreadsheets. 

We know you love that spreadsheet. 

It has all the data you need, and you’ve spent countless hours working on the perfect organizational system. But the thing is, it’s not scalable. Your spreadsheet requires a ton of manual data entry. Training others on your system is not how you want to be spending your time. We know it’s not!

Technology has come a long way, and when we say that there’s an app for that, we mean it. Modern wineries are moving to software solutions, and guess what? It’s not just for large enterprises.

Winery teams need to implement a software solution that allows for total visibility across departments. Finance and the cellar team alike should be able to get the data they need when they need it. 

Adopting a new system can sound daunting, but in this ever-changing world, we all are quickly learning that things can’t be done the same way they always have. 

Having better systems in place for lot, barrel, and winemaking activity tracking is crucial to maintaining production, quality control, and cost tracking. Opting for a purpose-built solution will help you stay ahead of the competition while giving yourself peace of mind and time to focus on other areas of your operation.

“We’re seeing our industry embrace technology at a pace we’ve never seen before. Yes, it’s out of necessity, but that saying ‘necessity being the mother of invention,’ it couldn’t be more true, and we’re definitely seeing it unfold right before our eyes in the wine industry.”

– George Christie, Wine Industry Network President and CEO

TTB Report

2. Prep for the TTB 5120.17 Report 

If the upcoming end-of-year TTB report has you stressed, it might be time to look into ways to streamline how you track your wine movement gains and losses. As you know, the TTB has strict rules around any volume changes across tax classes, blending, etc. The last thing you need right now is a TTB audit.

You might be saying, “But I’m a winemaker, not an accountant. I’m not responsible for understanding production costs and compliance.”

Well, the thing is, you’re responsible for getting production information to the people running the numbers and finalizing the TTB reports. This information is critical to understanding the overall health of the business.

You need to make sure that you have finalized your winemaking records for the year and ensured all your production costs have been applied. This way, the true cost to produce each wine is understood, and then it’s easy to generate the TTB 5120.17 (old 702) report.

Surprise surprise, winery management software can also help with your TTB reports while managing activities and tracking costs for you behind the scenes.

Look for a winery management solution that allows you to grant specific user access to team members or even to your accountant so they can manage the report themselves. Leaving you with all the time in the world to challenge grandma to an egg nog drinking contest.

3. Plan For Next Year

The wine industry is growing, and winemakers and growers who rely on research and innovation will be the most successful in the years to come.

Take time to review this last year, noting what worked, what didn’t, and brainstorming ways to adapt and stay ahead of the curve. You’ll want to:

  • Have an accurate picture of your new vintage that’s now pressed off and put to rest
  • Track partial vessels to ensure proper gassing and top off protocols
  • Understand yields, and how your current production impacts your targets for next year
  • Assess your capital and operational needs and firm up next year’s budget

Gather this information and analysis in a single spot with production software to save you both time and resources. 

Lastly, don’t forget to take some much-needed “me” time because the next harvest will be here before you know it.

Start a Conversation

InnoVint was created by winemakers for winemakers. To make winemaking easier and to make your life easier.

The InnoVint team has crafted a product to help you track your costs, generate your TTB 5120.17, streamline all of your production data, and much more, all in one place.

We’d love to see you in a demo today!

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