From Oregon’s Pinot Noirs to Napa Valley’s Red Blends, last year was a strong year for the direct-to-consumer industry across the West Coast. But what about the wineries across the rest of the United States? Defined in our 2015 Direct to Consumer Shipping Report as wineries outside of California, Oregon, and Washington, the Rest of the US had arguably the best growth performance of any region in 2015. Value and volume growth was seen in lesser-known wines. In fact, the best performing categories were Unspecified or Other, which account for obscure and untracked wines. This post explores how DtC shipping benefited wineries across the United States.
The State of the Nation
There’s no denying the stellar performance the Rest of the US had in 2015. From a volume perspective, the region saw an 11.3% growth over 2014 to 460,482 cases (this growth was second only to Oregon’s 13.3% rate). The Rest of the US also saw a 17.7% increase in value to almost $107.2 million, the highest increase of any region. The value increase was helped by a 15.7% increase in average price bottle to $19.40, also the highest price increase of any region. Though only contributing 10.7% of the nation’s volume and 5.5% of its value, the solid growth seen from the Rest of the US will only help grow the overall DtC market. This comes at an important time as regions like Sonoma County saw growth slow last year.
Variety of Varietals
Given the geographical range of the Rest of the US, it should be no surprise the region doesn’t have any signature varietal. With 36,072 cases shipped, Unspecified saw a 23.1% volume growth compared to 2014, contributing 7.8% of the region’s total volume. From a value perspective, this category saw a 44.1% jump in value to almost $10.8 million, accounting for 10.1% of the region’s total value last year. Unspecified also saw a 17.1% increase in average price per bottle to $24.92.
The other category, those that are unspecified, contributed 10.1% to the Rest of the US’ total volume with 46,565 cases shipped (along with a 16.0% volume growth). Despite an average price per bottle drop of 10.2% to $15.73, Other also accounted for almost $8.8 million, or 8.2%, of the region’s total value. Other Reds held as the region’s third-largest varietal by volume with 44,651 cases shipped, accounting for 9.7% of the region’s total volume. Other Reds also accounted for 9.0% of the region’s total value at $9.6 million, helped by a 6.1% average price per bottle increase to $17.97. Finally, Other Whites shipped 28,361 cases, accounting for 6.2% of the region’s volume and 5.2% of its value ($5.5 million).
Blends Hold Their Own
Red and White Blends also had a strong year within the Rest of the US. With 95,367 cases shipped, Red Blends saw a 14.8% volume growth over 2014, accounting for 20.7% of region’s total volume (Red Blends was the largest varietal by volume). From a dollar perspective, the Red Blends saw a 29.3% increase in value to $21.8 million, making it the largest contributor by value to the region. The 20.4% contribution to the region’s value was helped by the 12.7% increase in average price per bottle to $19.09.
Accounting for 8.6% of the region’s total volume, White Blends saw a strong 28.0% volume increase over 2014 to 39,673 cases shipped. Of all the top performing varietals, White Blends saw the largest value increase, jumping 46.6% to $7.5 million (the varietal also contributed 7.1% of the region’s total value). The average price per bottle for White Blends also increased 14.5% to $15.89.
The performance of the DtC space across the Rest of the United States paints a bright future for DtC space. Consumers aren’t demanding wine exclusively from California, Washington or Oregon, thereby giving wineries elsewhere an opportunity to flourish. The growth within the Other and Unspecified categories highlights the potential for today’s unknown wines to break into the mainstream. Every region has its specialties, and we’re excited to see how wineries across the United States continue to contribute to the DtC for years to come! If you’d like to read the entire 2015 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report, you can do so here.