January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Wine Sites Merge, Bottle Retailers

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Internet wine and spirits portal @wine.com has acquired eWine.com, and the company will change its name to eWine.com, effective immediately. In addition to gaining the more familiar and easily remembered URL, the San Jose, Calif.-based firm says the combined company also becomes the only retailer and winery-supported wine site on the Internet.

Terms of the agreement were not announced. The company says Jessee Allread, former president and CEO of eWine.com, will sit on the Advisory Board of the new company.

The newly formed company will function as a mall of leading wine retailers and wineries, it says. Currently, 16 retailers and wineries have signed up to be represented on the site, including The Wine Merchant, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Morrell & Co., New York; D & M, San Francisco; Wineglobe.com; and Kenwood Vineyards, Sonoma, Calif.

"eWine.com gives the best brick-and-mortar wine retailers a chance to compete in the world of e-commerce," says Mark Newman, the new company's president and CEO.

And while state laws make it impossible for a single retailer or winery to ship throughout the country, the new Web site will function as a single exchange for all retailers who subscribe, says Newman. "Given the highly regulated nature of interstate wine distribution, it's not feasible for each retailer to set up and promote their own e-commerce site."

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