Wine Logistics Company's Failure Puts Amazon.com's Wine Future At Risk
With the news today that New Vine Logistics, a Napa, California wine-shipping service has closed up shop, it looks like my long-held dream of having Amazon.com deliver my wine as well as my books may be just a little further away. New Vine Logistics has suspended operations after multiple attempts to raise new financing. Wine Business reports that the eight-year-old company stopped processing new orders last week. The company handled fulfillment for direct orders for around 200 wineries and merchants including some big names such as Beringer and Chateau St. Jean helping them navigate the various state laws regarding alcohol shipments. Because wine shipping policies are determined by the state this is often no easy task. New Vine Logistics had a contract with Amazon.com to work on a way to bring wine shipments to Amazon.com
The Santa Rosa Democrat says that one of the company's creditors, Silicon Valley Bank, arrived at the Napa offices Friday and sent around 100 employees home without pay. Wine is being returned to the vintners who now have to find a new way to get their wines to the customers. The company was one of the biggest in the wine shipping business and as the Wall Street Journal mentions, this does cast doubts on the viability of businesses that provide direct shipping of wine to customers. The Journal says that direct shipping is just a small part of total U.S. wine sales.
UPDATE: Wine Business reports that Inertia Beverage Group is working on a deal with Silicon Valley Bank to acquire its debt position in New Vine and to take over the company's responsibilities.