Ste. Michelle Tops the Washington Winery Rankings Again in 2018

· Washington Wineries,Wine Shipments,Metrics
Photo of Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates shipped almost 7.5 million cases of Washington wine in 2018 and remains the industry’s clear leader. Only one other company, Precept Brands, shipped more than a million cases. Precept’s shipments grew by 172,000 cases in 2018, the largest gain by any winery.


The top five wineries were unchanged from a year ago. Hogue Cellars, Wahluke Wine Company (a custom crush winery) and K Vintners (the trade name used by Charles Smith’s winery) took spots three through five.


The Washington wine industry remains heavily concentrated at the top. The state now has 971 active winery licenses, but Ste. Michelle alone accounts for 60% of the industry’s total shipments and the top five collectively represent 80%. Washington now has eight wineries that ship more than 100,000 cases per year.


While the state’s wine shipments have plateaued in recent years, its cider shipments continue to soar and are now closing in on the million-case mark. The top two cider companies, Seattle Cider Company and Schilling Cider, each shipped more than 250,000 cases in 2018.


The rankings are tabulated by Vintage Economics based on information obtained from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. They pertain to shipments of “packaged” wines produced by Washington domestic winery licenses.


See the recently released Washington Winery Report for 2018 shipment and production metrics for all 971 Washington winery licenses. The report also includes more extensive metrics for the 282 wineries that shipped at least 1,000 cases, including shipments broken down by type (table wine, fortified wine, and cider) and channel (out-of-state, WA distributor, WA retail license, and direct-to-consumer) and four years of historic data on total shipments and production.

Vintage Economics is also launching a new annual report, The Washington Wine Industry Review & Outlook, which will be available in approximately one week. It delivers a comprehensive assessment of Washington wine industry trends, analysis of developments in the broader wine market and economy, and an outlook for the industry in the year ahead.

See the reports section of the site for detailed descriptions and samples of both publications.

Chris Bitter

Vintage Economics


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