Washington Wine Shipments Plummet in the First Quarter

By Chris Bitter, Vintage Economics

· Washington State,Wine Shipments

Shipments by Washington wineries tumbled by 12% in 1Q 2020 relative to the same period a year ago. This represents the steepest quarterly drop since 2013, though the result comes against a strong 2019 comparison.

The contraction was driven by a 15% drop in out-of-state shipments. Hogue Cellars, which is included in the pending Gallo / Constellation deal, was responsible for nearly a third of the decline.

Direct-to-consumer sales/shipments were also down sharply – but shipments to in-state distributors and retailers bucked the trend with a slight gain. The decline in DtC broke a streak of 21 consecutive quarterly gains.

The weak first quarter results were only partly attributable to the COVID-19 outbreak, as the March numbers were just a touch worse than those of January and February. However, the erosion in DtC was more pronounced, suggesting that the lockdown was exerting a negative impact on sales. Consequently, small wineries – who have outperformed the broader industry in recent years – experienced a double-digit contraction in their collective first quarter shipments.

The April figures (available later this month) will provide a more comprehensive picture of the trajectory of the Washington wine industry during the COVID-19 lockdown. Contact Vintage Economics for more detailed metrics and analysis.

Chris Bitter

Vintage Economics



All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!