Amazon’s continuing quest to make and sell everything in the world has led to it branching out into a new area: overseeing the production of a new range of wines.
Yes, you can now get drunk in a Jeff Bezos-approved way. Pop the corks at once.
The company has worked with the King Estate Winery, located just outside Eugene, Oregon, to develop a line of three wines under their new brand, “Next”: a pinot gris, a red blend, and a pinot noir. It’s calling it “the first wine ever developed from conception to release with Amazon Wine”, the company’s booze brand launched in November 2012.
Unusually for Amazon, this new brand isn’t aimed at undercutting the competition with bargain-basement prices, as with its Amazon Basics line. Instead, the wines are priced firmly into the mid-to-high-end market, at $20 (£15.44), $30 and $40 for the white, red blend, and red respectively.
For the winery, it’s trying to claim the new deal “is a return to an earlier time when the connection between wine-maker and customer was direct”. Ed King III, who founded the vineyard with his father in 1991, said: “When people lived in the same village, the wines and cuisine developed together. Today that direct link is at risk of being lost.
“We’re launching Next on Amazon to re-establish the connection between winemaker and wine lover in today’s ‘digital village’.”
Amazon Wine’s Nick Loeffler added: “We’re thrilled to connect wineries, like King Estate, with millions of customers and give them an innovative format to launch new brands.”
Calling the largest e-commerce site in the world a village, digital or not, might stretch the imagination, but the wines will also be available for sale on the Kings’ own website – though the vineyard isn’t matching Amazon’s offer of 1¢ shipping for customers who buy three or more bottles.
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