March 02, 2012 09:00 ET Hosts Second Annual Industry Summit

Top Supplier Partners Convene to Discuss Future Growth Plans

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Mar 2, 2012) -, the nation's number one online wine retailer, hosted its second annual Wine Industry Summit on Tuesday. Attendees included 230 wine industry executives, a 40 percent increase in participation from the 2011 inaugural event, composed of leading winery, import supplier and wholesaler partners of The event program consisted of presentations by executives highlighting the growth and performance of as a company, 2011 customer purchasing trends, seminars to share insights on merchandising and website functionality, and a site tour of its flagship distribution center, an 80,000 square foot facility in Berkeley.

The 2012 Industry Summit marked the end of a year of extensive growth for With a 30 percent increase in volume, shipped more than 2.2 million bottles, growing its customer base by 25 percent. Additionally, in 2011, released the wine industry's first fully functional mobile shopping site, making it easier than ever before to buy wine on the go.

"The business exhibits dynamic growth compared to its brick and mortar counter parts, as well as a more upscale customer base, a higher average bottle price and larger percentage of imports and red wines," explained Danny Brager, Vice President and Group Client Director of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. "The product assortment offered to consumers on the site is six to eight times larger than the average grocery stores and two to three times larger than the average liquor store." Brager also noted during his presentation that while the majority of wine buyers on are Gen X and Baby Boomers, Millennials doubled the number of bottles they bought in 2011.

Highlights from the event included:

  • The presentation of the annual Exemplary Supplier Award to Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, a pioneer in the Washington wine industry with a portfolio of domestic and imported wine brands including Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Antinori, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, and more.
  • The presentation of the Extreme Service Award to Gary Feldman, Sales Manager for Southern Wine & Spirits of California, who has directed his company's partnership with for more than 12 years.
  • Additionally, shared 2011 consumer purchasing trends at the event, including the continued domination of Cabernet Sauvignon in growth and revenue, the new growth of Muscat and Chenin Blanc among white wines, and the rise of Argentina for imported wines.

"We're thrilled to have so many top suppliers and wholesalers take an interest in," said Rich Bergsund, CEO. "Many have done business with us for more than a decade, and are still finding ways to double or triple their volume with us each year. This conference gives us a great venue to plan for future growth together."

About is the nation's #1 online wine retailer, offering thousands of wines, wine gifts, gift baskets and monthly wine clubs.'s mission is to be the ultimate resource for wine enthusiasts, whether shopping for themselves or a gift. offers a combination of selection, value, service and detailed product information that is impossible to find in a brick and mortar store. is the world's most visited wine website and also runs the wine flash sales site, WineShopper. is majority owned by Baker Capital. For more information: visit, the Wine Notes Blog, Facebook page, Twitter, or download the iPad app. For WineShopper, visit or on Facebook and Twitter.

About Baker Capital
Baker Capital, founded in 1995, is New York based private equity firm with $1.5 billion under management. Baker Capital invests globally in digital communications, media and technology companies at all stages of development. 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 global strategic thinking and relationships.

Contact Information

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    Virginia Zimpel or Lauren Lloyd