The positive news continues for Washington wine as the industry has almost fully recovered the ground it lost during the height of the pandemic in 2020.
Total shipments by Washington wineries surged 23% in the second quarter relative to a weak comparison in 2020: this builds upon a 9% first quarter gain. Shipments for the first six months of 2021 were up 16% against the same period in 2020 and inline with those recorded in 2019.
The recovery has been broad based, though the state’s largest wineries have generally outpaced their smaller counterparts. Shipments by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, which is being acquired by the private equity firm Sycamore Partners, rose 17% in the second quarter.
In terms of shipment channels, out-of-state volume is essentially back to its pre-pandemic level, but sales to in-state distributors and retailers remain far below this mark. Direct-to-consumer shipments (which include tasting room sales) held up reasonably well last year and are tracking in step with 2019.
These findings are based on Vintage Economics' analysis of public records obtained from the Washington State Liquore and Cannabis Board. Visit our website at www.VinEconomics.com to learn more about Vintage Economics.