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Thursday, 11 September 2008 06:27

2008: it will be a very good year

Written by David Stellmack

Image

For Amazon wine sales

Is there much of anything that Amazon.com does not offer for sale on its Web site?  Well, now there is one less thing, as Amazon has announced that it will be offering wine sales on its Web site starting as soon as this month.

Amazon has been working with the Napa Valley Vintners Association, according to a spokesperson for the non-profit group.  The Association represents 315 vintners from Napa Valley, California, arguably one of the best wine producing regions in the world.

The spokesperson indicated that sales through Amazon might begin as soon as this month. Amazon, based in Seattle, Washington, is planning to sell wine in approximately 26 states and wine sold on its site will come from all regions of the country, according to the representative.

It is not certain how consumers would buy wine over the Web site, whether each winery would have a separate online storefront or whether there would be a central store that offered various wineries’ selections. The Vintners Association representative said that wine purchases on Amazon would likely even qualify for its discount shipping program, Amazon Prime, which allows goods to be shipped free for a yearly fee of $79.00.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May 2005 that states must allow the same rights to out-of-state wineries as they offer for in-state shippers. There are more than 5,000 wineries in the U.S., and at least one winery in each state. Annual wine consumption in the U.S. has increased over the last 14 years, with U.S. wine sales at approximately $30 to $32 billion in 2007 alone, according to Stonebridge Research Group.

New Vine Logistics of Napa, California will reportedly be working with Amazon to handle wine fulfillment, as it is familiar with staying within the laws that differ from state to state. A group known as "Free the Grapes" has been working to streamline legislation and open new states to direct-to-consumer wine shipping.

Last modified on Thursday, 11 September 2008 08:06

David Stellmack

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