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Wine bottles

Napa County continues to lead the American wine industry in the value of its direct-to-consumer marketing.

“Napa is still king when it comes to price per bottle,” said Kent Nowlin, general manager of Sovos ShipCompliant, speaking at an industry conference last week.

The forthcoming annual DTC Wine Shipping Report shows that the average bottle shipped by Napa County producers in 2016 was worth about $62, around 60 percent above the industry average of $38.69. According to the report, the region shipped more than 1.5 million cases of wine directly to consumers in 2016.

Direct-to-consumer sales are generally those that occur outside the traditional distributorship and store networks, via mailing lists, wine clubs, the Internet and carry-out purchases at a tasting room. The total potentially surpassed the $1 billion mark in DTC sales from Napa wineries for the second consecutive year.

Winemakers say the DTC market is increasingly important to their livelihood since the number of distributorships has declined while the number of wineries across the world has exploded, making it harder for vintners to secure precious shelf space in stores and on wine lists.

The DTC Wine Shipping Report will be issued later this month, featuring the complete data compiled by Wines and Vines and Sovos ShipCompliant for the past year.

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