Volume is up from a year ago - but by just 2%
Shipments of packaged wines by Washington wineries expanded by 65,000 cases in the third quarter, a 2% increase relative to the same period in 2017. The gain was driven by a 12% increase in in-state shipments and direct-to-consumer sales/shipments grew by 9%. Out-of-state shipment volume fell by 1% in the quarter.
The slight third-quarter gain represents a moderation in the pace of growth relative to much stronger readings in the first two quarters of 2018. Nonetheless, the Washington wine industry continues to rebound from a severe 2017 slump as shipments are now up by 8% over the first nine months of 2018 on a year-over-year basis.
Slower growth in the third quarter was primarily attributable to a 4% decline in Ste. Michelle’s shipments, which represent more than 60% of the state-wide total. Excluding Ste. Michelle, shipment volume expanded at a more robust 13% pace. Sixty-one of Washington’s top 100 wineries recorded gains for the period.
For more detailed quarterly metrics and analysis regarding Washington wine shipment trends, subscribe to Vintage Economics’ Washington Wine Shipment Report. The quarterly publication includes analysis and summary metrics broken down by shipment channel and winery size class, individual metrics for the state’s top 100 wineries, as well as discussion of broader economic and wine market trends.