Following a solid first half performance, shipments of packaged wines by Washington wineries declined by 6% in the third quarter relative to the same period last year. The reversal was driven primarily by a sharp plunge in in-state distributor sales while growth in DTC sales / shipments continues to be robust.
Total shipments are down 1.4% over the last 12 months. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the state’s dominant winery, is still struggling to reverse a slump in its shipment volume that began in early 2017. Growth by the remainder of the Washington wine industry has taken up much of the slack over the past several years but has decelerated in 2019.