Shipments of packaged wines by Washington wineries slipped by 2% in the fourth quarter relative to the same period last year. Shipments for the full year totaled 12.58 million cases, a gain of just 27,000 relative to 2018.
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, which accounts for 60% of the total, saw a slight uptick in its shipment volume in 2019. This follows two consecutive years of contraction. Conversely, Washington’s second tier wineries (>50,000 cases ex. Ste. Michelle), which have offset Ste. Michelle’s decline in recent years, recorded a 4% decline in their combined shipments.
Growth in DTC shipments/sales remains robust – they increased to a record 890,000 cases in 2019. Consequently, Washington’s small wineries collectively recorded another year of solid growth.
See the fourth quarter Washington Wine Shipment Report for detailed metrics and analysis. The Washington Wine Industry Review & Outlook, to be released in mid-March, will provide a broader assessment of industry trends as well as individual shipment totals for all Washington wineries that shipped 1,000 or more cases in 2019.