DtC Shipments Strong Despite Seasonal Slump
Caymus is top-selling brand off-premise among wines priced $40 and up
San Rafael, Calif.—Even while overall shipments declined with the start of the hot days of summer, the total value of direct-to-consumer shipments in June still came in 17% higher than last year.
Total shipments in the past 12 months reached $1.67 billion in value, an 11% increase over the same period in 2013. The positive growth in the DtC segment was matched with solid growth in the off-premise channel and dramatic growth in hiring activity, according to the latest batch of Wine Industry Metrics by Wines Vines Analytics.
Top brands at $40 plus
After looking last month at the top-selling brands priced $20 and higher, the June metrics report focused on domestic wines priced $40 and higher per bottle. The attached table, based on IRI off-premise data, ranks the top 20 brands in this price range based on sales figures for the 12 months ending June 1.
Seventeen of the 20 brands are based in the Napa Valley, including the No. 1 brand in this price range: Caymus Vineyards. Caymus sold $6 million worth of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon in the hundreds of U.S. food, drug, liquor, club and convenience stores monitored by IRI, the Chicago, Ill.-based market-research firm. The volume of Caymus wine sold was 6,545 cases, and the average price was $76.57 per bottle.
In second place and $2 million behind was Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars of Napa Valley. In third place was Sonoma County’s Jordan Vineyard & Winery with $3.8 million in sales and the largest case volume among the 20 brands: 7,382. The top three brands mentioned are the only ones that also made last month’s ranking of $20-plus brands.
Examining the brands by their most valuable varietals or types, 17 of the top 20 get their sales largely from Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux-style blends. The exceptions are two California brands known for their Pinot Noir: Flowers Vineyard & Winery from the Sonoma Coast and Goldeneye Winery from Mendocino County. One, Paraduxx, makes mostly red wines from an unusual combination of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and other grape varieties.
Opus One was the leader in terms of average price per bottle at $203.42, up $4.15 from a year earlier. Joseph Phelps’ Insignia took a price increase of $14.48 for the year and had the second-highest bottle price at $172.43.
Off-premise sales for all domestic table wine and sparkling wine in June were up 5% over the previous year to $562 million. Sales in the past 12 months grew to $7.5 billion, which is 6% more than in 2013.
Winejobs index up from last year
Almost all of the indexes for winery jobs in June were up over last year, reported Winejobs.com. The hospitality job index was 57% higher this year than in 2013 and the winemaking index was 41% higher.
The overall index dropped slightly compared to May but was still up 34% over June of 2013. While the sales and marketing index dropped 18% compared to June 2013, the index is up slightly over May when it made a precipitous drop against the previous year.