Hosts Fourth Annual Industry Growth Summit

Key suppliers and wholesalers convene to discuss ecommerce growth strategy

San Francisco, CA, March 5, 2014 –, the nation’s number one online wine retailer, hosted its fourth annual Wine Industry Summit Wednesday, February 19th. Nearly 300 wine industry executives, suppliers and wholesaler partners of gathered at San Francisco’s historic Palace Hotel to discuss growth strategy for the coming year. The event program consisted of presentations by executives highlighting the growth and performance of as a company in 2013, customer purchasing trends over the past year, and company-wide initiatives for 2014.

“To keep innovating on behalf of our customers, we have to achieve higher levels of collaboration with our suppliers and wholesalers,” said CEO Rich Bergsund.  “Our annual summit provides a great venue for communication and planning, and this year’s event was our biggest and best yet.”

Danny Brager, Director of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Team, and John Gillespie, Founder and CEO of Wine Opinions, each presented an overview of consumer trends in the US Wine Market in relation to trends at Highlights included:

– customers spend more: The average selling price per bottle at rang in at $30.70, while the national average is only $9.19. In addition, wines priced $15 and higher made up 87% of sales at, but accounted for only 13% in national sales according to Nielsen.

–       A more “worldly” approach to wine: Imported wine made up 55% of sales, while it accounted for only 30% of wine sales in Nielsen channels.

–       Taste of Spain: Sales of Spanish wine at grew 33% and the region moved into 4th place in popularity, now ahead of Australia. (Wines from the U.S, France and Italy make-up the top 3, respectively.)

–       Big on blends: Blends are a significant driving force in wine’s growth both nationally and with, especially with the Gen X and Millennial generations who are looking to explore. Red blends grew 35% last year at, outselling Pinot Noir and ranking #3 in popularity, just under Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

In addition, Founder and VP of Merchandising, Michael Osborn, announced two awards during the day-long event. Birmingham-based Vineyard Brands received the Exemplary Supplier of the Year award in recognition of the quality and distribution of its global portfolio of wines, and its partnership in marketing programs. Kelley Wyman, of Young’s Market Company in California, was recognized with the annual Extreme Service Award for her dedication and commitment to the company.

About    is the nation’s leading online wine retailer, according to Internet Retailer magazine’s annual ranking of websites by revenue.  The company’s mission is to promote the wine lifestyle through innovation, which it does by providing its customers with selection, guidance, convenience and value uncommon in stores.  Unique in its industry, owns a proprietary network of wine fulfillment centers which delivers in 1 or 2 days to most of the country.  The company’s Steward-Ship program, unlimited wine delivery for $49 per year, is a customer favorite. is majority owned by Baker Capital.  For more information, visit the company’s website at

About Baker Capital
Baker Capital, founded in 1995, is a New York-based private equity firm which has raised over $1.5 billion in committed capital. Baker Capital invests in growth companies at all stages of development in both Europe and North America. The partners of Baker Capital have extensive private equity and operational experience, allowing the firm to provide its portfolio companies with not only capital but also strategic thinking and relationships.


Media Contact:
Gwendolyn Osborn

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2 Responses to Hosts Fourth Annual Industry Growth Summit

  1. Abigail Miller says:

    Hi there – are you able to provide who the author of this piece is other than “Press”? Thank you!

    • Press says:

      Hi Abigail – certainly. It was a team effort from executives in merchandising and marketing, as well as the two members quoted here. I (Gwendolyn Osborn) was the organizer of comments and thoughts for the final release.

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