Alibaba Uncorks Tmall Vineyard Direct

Alibaba is getting into the wine business.

Yesterday (Sept. 1), the Alibaba Group officially launched the Tmall Vineyard Direct program on with the opening of the Robert Mondavi Wines flagship store on the eCommerce platform.

In the Tmall Vineyard Direct program, the site (the largest third-party retail platform in China) will work directly with wineries throughout the world to bring their products to the Chinese consumer market. The Robert Mondavi wines that constitute the inaugural offering of the program are bottled and shipped from the wineries in the United States.

“We are honored that Robert Mondavi, one of the most reputed wine brands in the U.S. and in the world, has chosen Tmall as the exclusive online platform to grow their business in China,” Gary Clubb, head of international business development at, commented in a press release. “Working directly with the winery itself is key to a robust supply chain and allows us to leverage the power of the Alibaba ecosystem to pioneer innovative sales and marketing campaigns to the 367 million buyers on our platforms.”

“Over the past few years, we have seen a very encouraging uptake in Chinese tourists visiting our wineries in California, as well as wine sales in China,” added Philip Kingston, SVP of international for Constellation Brands, in the release. “This exclusive flagship store on Tmall allows us to sell our wines to Chinese consumers in a marketplace which we believe will build our brand. It also strengthens our presence in China as we expect to benefit from Alibaba’s sophisticated data analytics capabilities and extensive customer insights.”

Alibaba is not the only eCommerce giant to tap into this area. Last month, Amazon launched Prime Now service in Seattle with one new offering: delivery of wine and beer.

And while it may not quite have the far reach of Amazon or Alibaba, on-demand liquor delivery service Drizly has seen quite a bit of monetary backing, pushing the app to a $40 million valuation in May. Drizly reportedly has its sights set on reaching $100 million in sales by year’s end.

Perhaps all of these marketplaces are on to something — after all, those purchases just might fuel some added shopping after a glass or two of that fine wine. Because just as selling liquor and wine is on the radar of these eCommerce giants, so too are the trends tied to drunk shopping.

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The Future Of Unattended Retail Report: Vending As The New Contextual Commerce, a PYMNTS and USA Technologies collaboration, details the findings from a survey of 2,325 U.S. consumers about their experiences with shopping via unattended retail channels and their interest in using them going forward.

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