Deciding on a Weather Hold
07.05.2022  |  by Mike Galvan

Mike brings nearly a decade of wine industry experience to his role as Client Service Account Manager at Copper Peak. He’s a people person who loves meeting new clients and strengthening relationships through delivery of white glove service for our existing partnerships. 

If your winery runs a wine club, or sells online, you know the importance of staying weather-alert. When temperatures soar in the summer, or plunge below zero in the winter, you might need to place a weather hold on shipments. This is the best way to preserve the integrity of your wine/s during shipping so that your customers have a great experience with your brand.

Of course, there are also special climate controlled shipping options to beat the summer heat. But as these can be costly, many of our Copper Peak’s partners find it more economical—and easier—to simply place a hold on shipments. Weather holds are also appropriate for other kinds of severe weather, like a hurricane or a snowstorm affecting a particular region.

Copper Peak’s Weather Hold feature not only helps to schedule weather holds, but allows our winery partners to “self serve,” initiating the process themselves. So, when temperature swings, extreme weather, or natural disasters are forecasted— either at the wine’s destination or along the delivery route—wineries can pause shipping with the touch of a button, putting winery managers in control.

Using the Weather Hold Tool

The Weather Hold system is available on the Copper Peak portal 24/7 and is designed to be intuitive and easy. Once you put shipments on hold, nothing leaves Copper Peak’s facility for the specified destination until you say so. For example, wineries can request to hold orders headed to a specific state and/or by a certain carrier.

The weather hold can be programmed to automatically start and end on whatever date you choose. You also have the option of keeping an eye on the weather forecast and reaching out by phone or email to release the hold—either for everyone at once, or state by state.

Some wineries choose to handle weather holds internally in their own system and that is totally fine as well. They simply don’t submit their orders to Copper Peak for distribution until the weather clears. But, by using the system that is already built into Copper Peak’s system, managers can check one more task off their list.

Plus, while your wine is on hold, your account manager can help you to reserve inventory. This way, when the hold is released, members get their orders no matter how many cases are sold online or at your tasting room.

(Note that we are happy to give all of our winery partners a tour of the Weather Holds module, and how easy it is to setup a weather hold for themselves!)

Deciding on a Weather Hold

Deciding to put wine on a weather hold involves answering some questions for yourself. You’ll want to consider things like:

  • How hot (or cold) is it expected to be, and for how long?
  • How sensitive is the particular wine to the expected conditions?
  • How many customers will be affected?
  • How long will the hold need to last?
  • What sorts of promises have you made in terms of shipping windows?
  • What do your customers expect in terms of delivery time?
  • What will be the cost of replacing the wine if it is returned?
  • Is an alternative like cold pack shipping, or FedEx Cold Chain, a more cost-effective option?

In a world where 2-day and even next-day delivery of most products has become common, no one wants to make their customers wait. But we find that wine lovers are very understanding. Yes, expectations are high for on-time deliveries, but they are even higher when it comes to enjoying their favorite selection from your winery. If a slight delay means uncompromised quality, most will find it worth the wait!