Initial year-end tabulations from The Washington Wine Shipment Report indicate that shipments of packaged wines by Washington wineries declined by 8% in the fourth quarter relative to the same period a year ago.
The decline was attributable to a contraction in out-of-state shipments as well as a dip in deliveries to in-state distributors – DTC sales/shipments increased but the rate of growth moderated relative to the first nine months of the year.
For the full year, shipments grew by 350,000 cases to 12.54 million, a 3% increase over 2017.
The Washington wine industry remains bifurcated heading into 2019. Ste. Michelle’s shipments declined by 300,000 cases during the year and have fallen by 1,000,000 since 2016. Excluding Ste. Michelle, the Washington wine industry recorded a gain of 650,000 cases in 2018.
Also, be sure to hear Dr. Chris Bitter, Wine Economist & Founder of Vintage Economics, discuss the findings at the Washington Winegrowers Convention "State of the Industry" session on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Click here for more info.