NORTH COAST -- The Internet retail giant Amazon.com has dropped plans to sell wine.
"I can confirm Amazon will not be getting into the wine business," said Tracy Ogden, a spokesman for the Seattle-based company. He declined to elaborate.
Amazon.com started putting out feelers to North Coast wineries in summer 2008 through Napa Valley Vintners Association. In the first half of this year the retailer had been working toward an order-fulfillment deal with Napa-based New Vine.
Amazon reportedly sent a note to prospective wine suppliers about the change in strategy.
New Vine closed June 1 amid financial issues the company blamed on trying to ramp up for the Amazon business. Napa-based Inertia Beverage Group helped fund the restart of New Vine and acquired it in a mid-July foreclosure sale.
This wasn't Amazon's first foray into direct-to-consumer wine sales. The retailer was a major investor in startup Internet wine retailer WineShopper.com of Napa, chipping in $30 million in 1999. WineShopper later was absorbed into Wine.com, and some of the fulfillment technology was picked up by the founders of New Vine.
San Francisco-based Wine.com earlier this year announced it was getting into wine-order logistics.