Oregon winemaker Willamette Valley Vineyards saw profits rise 10% last year thanks in part to rising out-of-state sales.

The company said yesterday (2 April) that 2006 net profit reached US$1.3m, up from US$1.2m a year earlier. The increase in earnings came as revenues rose 8% to US$14.9m, Willamette said.

Out-of-state sales rose 15%, generating "the lion's share" of the increase in net profit, the company said. In volume terms, sales reached 100,280 cases last year.

Last month, Willamette signed a deal to lease Elton Vineyards, an estate specialising in Pinot Noir located in the Eola Hills region.