Airing between regular episodes of the VinePair Podcast, “Next Round” explores the ideas and innovations that are helping drinks businesses adapt in a time of unprecedented change. As the coronavirus crisis continues and new challenges arise, VP Pro is in your corner, supporting the drinks community for all the rounds to come. If you have a story or perspective to share, email us at podcast@vinepair.com

In this “Next Round,” VinePair Podcast co-host Zach Geballe interviews David Ramey, owner and winemaker of Ramey Wine Cellars of Healdsburg, Calif. Ramey is an established winemaking veteran, having worked at an impressive roster of wineries including Château Pétrus, Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Dominus Estate, Rudd Estate, and now his own winery. Ramey is also known within the California winemaking community for his focus on traditional, artisan winemaking techniques.

Drawing upon decades of experience, Ramey lends his perspective on the present state of the wine industry, comparing current setbacks to the 2008 recession. Ramey believes that the wine industry will fully rebuild, but the process will be long and slow, beginning with the successful comeback of on-premise and restaurant sales. During the challenging months and years ahead, his advice for other winemakers and those making tough financial decisions is: Pay down debt when possible; spend only as strictly necessary; and be conservative in spending when spending is unavoidable. Ramey says he sticks to these principles, while also remaining supportive of his staff, as he continues to avoid layoffs for as long as he is able.

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