Kryss Speegle MW on Wine Buying and Trends

10/05/2023 Insights from O'Neill Vintners & Distillers VP on factors influencing wine purchases, staying up-to-date with industry trends, and building strong buyer-producer relationships.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Kryss Speegle MW, Vice President of Business to Business at O'Neill Vintners & Distillers. With almost 20 years of experience in the wine industry, Kryss has held various roles including sales, production, and education. She is a graduate of U.C. Davis with an M.S. in Food Science/Enology and has also gained practical training experience through harvests in Germany, New Zealand, and California. 

Kryss joined O'Neill Vintners & Distillers in 2011, a leading supplier of California bulk wine and spirits, where she has contributed to the company's success in winemaking, sales, and business development. In addition to her work at O'Neill, Kryss also teaches at the Napa Valley Wine Academy where she covers the WSET curriculum and custom-designed programs for private clients.

With her extensive experience in the wine industry, Kryss Speegle MW has gained a unique perspective on the business of wine. We had the opportunity to chat with her about wine trends, her preferences for buying wine for her business, and more. Take a look.


What do wine buyers look for in the US wine market?

Ripe fruit, drinkability, a recognizable style

How do you decide which wines to purchase for your business? What factors do you take into consideration?

Quality, price, fit for program, ease of working with the seller

How do you stay up-to-date with industry trends and changes in consumer preferences?

Trade and popular media, social media, business news, looking at store shelves and restaurant openings

Kryss Speegle MW, Vice President of Business to Business at O'Neill Vintners & Distillers

How do you take your personal bias and preferences out professional buying?

I identify the key parameters of the program in questions and then taste for "fit" with those parameters rather than for "preference"

What is the most important thing a wine producer can do to build a strong relationship with trade buyers like yourself?

While I do buy wine, our business is primarily as a producer so I see both sides of the coin. The most important thing we producers can do is to educate ourselves about our buyer's business and the challenges they face, then communicate honestly about what we can - and can't - do to solve their problems and help them grow. This is how mutual trust and respect develop.

In your opinion, what trends do you see emerging in the wine industry over the next few years?

Lighter wines, more flavored wines, and wine-adjacent options, more exploration of wine with non-European foods and flavors, and de-emphasis of varietal and vintage labeling.

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