Amazon To Offer Wine Online

    September 11, 2008

Online retailer will start selling wine produced in the U.S. by early October making it available to its domestic customers.

Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit organization representing more than 300 vintners in California, has started workshops for wineries that want to sell their wine on Amazon, according to Terry Hall, communications director for the group.

"They have been working for a while on this wine project. Now they are signing up the wineries," Hall told Reuters. "They’re fast-tracking it right now."

Amazon will sell wine in about 26 states and wine sold on the site will come from all areas of the country.

In 2007 total U.S. wine sales were between $30 billion and $32 billion, according to Barbara Insel, president of Stonebridge Research Group, a company focused on the wine industry.

Amazon will be working with New Vine Logistics, a Napa, California firm that operates in wine fulfillment and can ship to 45 states. Amazon is working with the company to ensure that the wine is legally shipped.

Customers enrolled in Amazon Prime, a discount shipping program will qualify for free shipping on any wine purchases.

"The good news is it (Amazon selling wine) puts some big muscle behind direct-to-consumer so consumers of wine should benefit," Hall said.