Northwest winemakers may be able to expand their customer base now that Amazon is shipping wine to more than a dozen states. Photo by nerissa's ring via Flickr
RICHLAND, Wash. – This holiday season, Northwest winemakers are hoping to expand their customer base with a new sales venue. Seattle’s online shopping giant Amazon.com is now shipping wine.
Tom Hedges is co-founder of Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain in southeast Washington. He says his family has only been selling wine on Amazon.com for about a week. It will take a few months to truly see if selling bottles through the site will actually pencil out.
Hedges doesn’t think there will be a lot of overlap with already established customers.
“I don’t think it’s replacing anybody else that we already sell to, I think it’s just adding more customers," he says. "I don’t think it’s taking business away from distributors, or retailers in our case because we’re so small. I think we’re getting to the people we didn’t get to before.”
Most states don’t allow direct shipments of alcoholic beverages or impose fees. But customers can get wine at their door in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and about 10 other states.
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