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Moët Hennessy’s Woodinville Whiskey In Expansion Mode Heading Into 2022

December 27, 2021

Following a substantial expansion of both capacity and distribution in 2020, Washington’s Woodinville Whiskey is on an upward trajectory. Founded by Orlin Sorensen and Brett Carlile in 2010, Woodinville was acquired by Moët Hennessy in 2017 and last year significantly increased its distribution footprint, adding 14 states. In addition to adding new markets, Woodinville also increased its production capacity, with an eye toward further expansion.

“We sell everything that we have available, so inventory is the limiting factor to our growth. I wish we had about 10 times more whiskey,” says Sorensen. “Our Bourbon is the majority of our sales primarily because that is what we have the most available stock of. Our rye is in very high demand but we produce much less of it.”

Last year’s investment upped Woodinville’s capacity from 150,000 to around 1 million proof gallons per year and added two new stills. Woodinville bolstered its maturation facilities last year as well, adding new warehouses at the Omlin farm in Quincy, Washington.

While the expansion sets Woodinville up for the future, until the whiskey has matured, the company is still limited by its existing stocks. “We hope to be able to enter a few new markets in the coming years,” says Sorensen. “We’re committed to supporting those markets we are currently in before we move on.” Looking to 2022, Sorensen says Woodinville will have more rye available for the brand’s current markets and will launch a single barrel program for its rye whiskey.

Sorensen says Woodinville’s approach to expansion is deliberate, with the focus on building an audience and letting the brand’s roots grow deep. Currently, Washington is Woodinville’s largest state and he hopes to see national interest in the brand eventually mirror its home market. “The battleground states are of course important to every brand, but we’ve had some incredible success in smaller markets like North Carolina and Georgia, where the brand is on fire,” he says.—Shane English

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