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Sat., Sept. 20, 2008

Want a California Cabernet to go with your new read?

Soon you might be able to get it at

The Seattle-based company, which started as an online book vendor and now sells everything from sewing machines to diamond jewelry, plans to add wines from throughout the country this fall, wine-industry insiders say.

Amazon has approached the Washington Wine Commission to help tell 550-plus wineries about selling through the retail giant, said Ryan Pennington, a spokesman for the state agency.

“With their reach, it’s a great opportunity for us,” Pennington said.

Meanwhile, a trade group of 315 California wineries is holding workshops so that an Amazon representative can explain the new venture, said Terry Hall, a spokesman for the nonprofit Napa Valley Vintners.

The online retailer might begin selling wine this month or next and would involve 26 states, including Washington, Hall said.

U.S. wine sales totaled between $30 billion and $32 billion last year, said Barbara Insel, president of Stonebridge Research Group in Napa, Calif. About $2.8 billion was sold directly from wineries to consumers through wine clubs, tasting rooms, mailing lists and the Internet.

Going organic: Organic personal care products are sprouting up at more mass retail outlets. Here are some examples:

•Target expanded its beauty aisles this year to include nine natural and organic product lines, including Juice Organics, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Burt’s Bees and Kiss My Face, among others. Target says the products are not tested on animals and are free of synthetic ingredients, like parabens, which are chemicals used as preservatives.

•Wal-Mart sells Noah’s Naturals and Tom’s of Maine, among other brands. The world’s largest retailer also sells Organic Wear makeup at over 3,000 U.S. stores.

•Whole Foods sells Gabriel Cosmetics, whose makeup and skin care products contain natural preservatives. Whole Foods also carries Peter Rabbit Organics, which makes personal care products safe for children.

•Walgreens sells Yes To Carrots as well as Weleda, J.R. Watkins, The Face Shop, Organix and Naked Naturals, among others.

•CVS sells items made by Alba, which makes products with minerals from the Hawaiian Islands.

From wire reports


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