Washington is for wine-lovers: D.C. No. 1 for direct shipments

WASHINGTON — Direct-to-consumer wine shipment sales are rising four times as fast as the overall retail wine market. And when compared to states, the District is at the top of the list for getting wine shipped to the front door.

ShipCompliant, which makes sales and fulfillment software used by the alcoholic beverage industry, says the volume of wine shipped to consumers direct from wineries increased by 8.5 percent last year.

Wineries shipped more than 4.2 million cases of wine in 2015, representing $1.97 billion in sales, an 8.1 percent increase over 2014.

The District, along with California, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, saw the most wine shipped directly to consumers on a per capita basis.

Those bypassing retail channels for their wine are buying fairly good stuff. The average bottle of wine shipped last year cost $38.23.

“We are seeing the direct distribution channel for wine continuing to be a significant source of sales for wineries, and an increasingly desirable way for consumers to obtain wines that they can’t find in their local retail outlets,” said Jeff Carroll, vice president of compliance and strategy and ShipCompliant.

Shipments of cabernet sauvignon led all other varietals in direct-to-consumer sales last year, accounting for 30 percent of all direct-shipped wines. Napa wineries reached an all-time high, shipping a record $1 billion worth of wine in 2015.

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