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SEATTLE -- The governor-proclaimed Washington Wine Month drove $4.6 million in wine sales in the Western Washington and Spokane markets during the month of August, representing a 28 percent increase over August 2004 sales.
Organized by the Washington Wine Commission, the Wine Month promotion featured innovative Washington wine displays, sweepstakes, and special pricing to entice wine lovers to sample vintages from the state's more than 350 wineries.
"Sixty-nine retailers across Washington state participated in the Wine Commission's fifth annual Retail Display Contest, more than doubling last year's participation. The Commission awarded the most creative Washington Wine Month retail displays to grocers statewide at the Retail Awards Party held at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Wash. on August 23. Prizes for the most creative retail displays included Chateau Ste. Michelle concert tickets, lodging at the Willows Lodge in Woodinville, restaurant and spa gift certificates.
QFC stores took home top honors for the fourth year in a row, for their stand-out in-store displays and customized promotions. Safeway secured two grand prizes for its innovative displays. Haagen/Top Food Stores also took home a grand prize and several honorable mentions for creative displays. For the first time ever, select Target stores featured Washington wine displays as well. Area Costco and QFC stores featured winemaker bottle signings all month long, while many specialty wine shops hosted tastings with noted winemakers.
Last year, Washington State produced more than seven million cases of wine, equaling an estimated $684.9 million in retail sales, and making it the second largest premium wine producing state in the country, according to the Washington Wine Commission.