Commercial Security for Wineries: from the Farm to the Tasting Room
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Commercial Security for Wineries: from the Farm to the Tasting Room

There are more than 9,600 wineries in the United States, producing around 23.3 million hectoliters every year. (For those outside the industry, a hectoliter is equivalent to on hundred liters. That’s a lot of wine!) Sure, 45% of those wineries may be in California, but that means more than half of all the wineries in the U.S. are stretched across the country, even popping up in unlikely grape growing regions such as Texas, Kansas, and Missouri. And like any other business, wineries in Kansas City need commercial security systems to help keep their people, premises, and products safe.

Growing grapes and making wine is an expanding and profitable industry that has shown 25 years of consecutive growth in the United States. In 2017, revenue for U.S wine sales topped $41 billion, and that’s excluding imports.

Baby Boomers and those who are over the age of 69 may currently make up the largest population of wine consumers, but industry experts who have been tracking wine consumption trends predict that Millennials will become the largest consumers of fine wines by the year 2026. Younger generations have been purchasing more wine each year for the past few years, and with that increase in demand comes the need for an equivalent increase in wine production.

Wine makers wear a lot of hats. They are farmers, retailers, entrepreneurs, and artisans. A winery faces the same kinds of security risks that affect ranches and farms, with the added complications that come with retail sales and public-facing areas, as people make trips to wineries to see where their favorite beverage is grown, fermented, and bottled—and, of course, to sample the wares. From keeping an eye on crops to monitoring public areas, commercial security systems help Kansas City wineries protect their business while also maintaining quality control over their product.

Security Risks at Wineries in the U.S.

Commercial security for wineries is more complex than you might think. Wine makers face all the challenges that come with farming and protecting their crops, along with things like liability issues that accompany vineyard tourism, the challenges of protecting intellectual property, and much more. Because wine makers are usually also wine merchants who sell stock from public-facing retail spaces within their vineyards, they also have to contend with all the security challenges that come with retail, including monitoring public areas, keeping an eye on inventory and money, and guarding against employee theft, to name just a few.

Vineyards and wineries also have to consider cyber security, since most of today’s wine makers probably do a considerable amount of business online, and may maintain databases containing client data, not to mention proprietary information regarding crops, formulas, and processes.

What Would a Winery Security System Include?

A commercial security system can do more than help a winery protect money and inventory. It can monitor the perimeter and grounds, help keep an eye on crops, see who is coming and going in the multiple buildings that make up a winery, help to protect against fire and other hazards, and even provide remote monitoring and oversight of environmental controls and other components of the operation.

Doing all of that calls for a fairly sophisticated system, but a robust commercial security solution for a winery begins with four main components: premise access control, intrusion detection, security cameras, and monitoring.

Access Control for Your Winery

Access controls are a core component of most commercial security systems, giving wine-making business owners and managers control over who comes and goes on their premises, which helps to not only protect winery business resources but also keep employees, vendors, and the public safe. When properly implemented, access controls can:

  • Help deter trespassers and anyone who is up to no good.
  • Restrict certain areas or allow access to certain areas for vendors, maintenance, etc.
  • Keep a record of who is coming and going, and who was where, when.
  • Help to reduce employee theft and simplify employee turnover.
  • Provide customized access for different employees based on their needs.
  • Protect proprietary information including intellectual property, formulas, and so on.

Intrusion Detection

When people think of commercial security systems, intrusion detection is one of the first things that come to mind. Sure, that includes alarms on doors, glass break sensors on windows, and that sort of thing, but it can also include more complex solutions for large-scale operations such as wineries that can:

  • Deter burglary or large-scale theft and protect assets against vandalism.
  • Keep non-public areas secure, especially those that may include dangerous machinery.
  • Potentially lower insurance rates and reduce liability.
  • Offer a safer working environment for employees in the field and behind the scenes.

Commercial-Grade Security Cameras

No wine-making business that is serious about security should be without at least a few commercial-grade security cameras. With these, a winery can:

  • Keep an eye on every area of the winery, from the outside in.
  • Monitor customer traffic, even from mobile devices.
  • Have a record in the event of an incident.
  • Track product inventory and customer behavior in real-time.
  • Discourage shoplifting from public or retail areas.
  • Provide documentation for fraud or insurance liability claims.

24/7 Security Monitoring

A commercial security system at your winery is no good if no one is watching it. While the components listed above help wine makers and vineyard owners keep their finger on the pulse of their wine-making business even when they’re on the go, 24/7 monitoring gives business owners more freedom to relax, even when they’re not keeping an eye on things. What does it mean for wineries?

  • Authorities (and owners) are alerted immediately in the event of an incident, leading to quicker response times.
  • Business owners and property managers get real-time security updates whenever they need them.
  • Someone is always on guard, allowing wine makers to focus on what matters most.
  • Many insurance companies require monitoring, which can also help lower insurance premiums.

What Spaces Need to Be Secure and Why?

Wine making is a complex business, and vineyards feature many different areas that serve different functions and have different security needs. A tasting room is a public space that may also do retail wine sales business, while the tanks where wine is fermented are a different thing entirely, and are different still from loading docks, equipment storage buildings, or the vineyards themselves. Many wineries also feature event spaces and may even include personal dwellings. That’s a lot of different buildings and areas to cover, and a lot of different security needs and challenges to meet.

Each winery will find that they have different risk tolerances, different layouts, different workflows, and therefore different needs. A commercial security system should be scalable and customizable to fit the situation of each individual vineyard, and a commercial security company in Kansas City should work with each wine maker to find the solution that’s right for them.

Maintaining Security and the Winery Aesthetic

Wineries face a unique security challenge—protecting a wide variety of different areas, monitoring the status of crops, keeping guests safe, and maintaining access control—all while also keeping up the aesthetic that visitors and tourists expect. At the end of the day, wine makers are artisans, and they are aware of the importance of good taste. Whatever aesthetic a winery is going for, it’s a part of what you’re selling with each bottle, which is why you don’t want it ruined with bulky security cameras dangling from every beam.

A professional security team like A-TEC Security can put together a commercial security system in Kansas City that protects your crops, your people, your inventory, your premises, and your intellectual property, all while maintaining the winery aesthetic that you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. To learn more, contact A-TEC Security today.

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