Daily Wine News: Silicon Valley Bank’s Demise

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-13-2023

2023 will be the last year for Silicon Valley Bank’s State of the US Wine Industry report.

“The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said on Friday that it would take over Silicon Valley Bank, a 40-year-old institution based in Santa Clara, Calif. The bank’s failure is the second-largest in U.S. history, and the largest since the financial crisis of 2008,” the New York Times reported.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley and Jess Lander explain how the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is causing a financial crisis for California’s wine industry. “The list of potential impacts for wineries, which represented 2% of the bank’s total loan business, according to an internal report, is extensive…Since 1994, Silicon Valley Bank has extended more than $4 billion in loans to wineries and vineyards, providing financing for endeavors like vineyard acquisition and development, real estate and equipment purchases, according to the bank’s website. McMillan carved out a niche by establishing the bank as one of the few institutions that could cater to the nuanced needs of the wine industry. Wineries tend to make substantial investments in land, equipment and other assets years before they can sell a bottle of wine — a complex system that McMillan made a business of understanding.”

“The bank seemed to understand the unique demands and challenges of the industry, offering low-interest rate loans, “seasonal crop lines of credit” and “equipment loans and debt restructuring,” according to SVB’s website. So when the bank collapsed this week after a run of $42 billion in withdrawals, tech start-up founders and VCs weren’t the only cohorts shocked by SVB’s demise.” In Business Insider, Lloyd Lee considers the impact Silicon Valley Bank’s demise on the wine industry.

In Al Jazeera, Nis Adler reports on how Ukraine’s winemakers have continued to make wine despite the dangers of war.

In the Oregonian, Michael Alberty explores Oregon winemakers’ fascination with Aligoté.

We’ve all heard of whiskey barrel-finished wine. But what about wine-finished whiskey? Kara Newman explores the growing category in Wine Enthusiast.

“The Argentinian government is set to implement a new foreign currency exchange rate, based on the country’s wine exports, a in bid to boost greater competitivity in the sector. The move, which follows a similar initiative established in the soy bean sector (the so-called “soy dollar” rate was established in 2022), was announced by economy minister Sergio Massa at a recent AGM for the Argentinian Wine Corporation (Coviar),” reports Oliver Styles in Wine-Searcher.

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