SUTTON’S BAY, Mich. – Rooted in Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula, Shady Lane Cellars wines are on the move. Direct-to-consumer shipping is has vastly expanded. The estate winery now holds licenses to ship to a total of 39 states.
“For 2023 we are on pace to triple the total sales and number of orders we sent out in 2022 through our wine club and direct to consumer online sales,” said Luke Hershey, e-commerce and wine club manager. “It is incredibly important.”
Those two sources currently make up 18 percent of Shady Lane Cellars’ total sales.
“This opens the door for us to continue to grow as a business outside of our tasting room,” said Hershey.
And the time is right. Traverse City tourism officials have been reporting a strong rebound in tourism and working toward attracting more groups, business travel and out-of-state visitors. At Shady Lane Cellars, Hershey said, local, in-state and out-of-state travel appears to be on the rise. Visitors are coming year-round, too.
“We’ve had the best January, February and March to-date, ever!” he said.
Hershey joined Shady Lane Cellars in 2019 and since that time he has grown the estate winery’s mailing list and wine club membership from hundreds to thousands of supporters. All along, he’s received an exponential increase in wine shipping requests.
To ship wines directly to consumers out of state, Shady Lane Cellars must hold a license for each state. For the past 6 years, the estate winery has shipped its wines across Michigan as well as to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, Florida and Washington D.C.
Thanks to a new partnership with Vinoshipper, Shady Lane Cellars can now ship its sustainable, Michigan-made wines directly to consumers in an additional 32 states. From Blaufrankisch and Pinot Noir to Pomeranz and Pinot Gris, all Shady Lane Cellars wines are now available for online purchase and shipping to an expanded list of destinations.
The newly added locations include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Hershey said this expansion has created a lot of excitement among the staff and customers at Shady Lane Cellars.
“We have fielded hundreds of questions over the last couple of years about shipping wine,” he said. “We have customers who live in western and southern states who love our wines – but, until now – we had no way to ship it to them.”
Wine sales can be made directly on the ShadyLaneCellars.com website and shipped direct to consumers in 39 states. Hershey said the influx of questions from interested wine buyers across the country directly led to this expansion.
While this increases access to Shady Lane Cellars wines for consumers, it also expands the benefits of wine club, which had previously only been open to residents in Michigan and in surrounding Midwest states.
“We have wine club members and customers who live elsewhere year-round or in the off season,” Hershey added. “We can now continue to ship wine orders to them when they leave the state. It also gives us the opportunity to test what kind of customer base and market we might have in states that we had not previously explored.”