Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the Woodinville-based wine unit of UST, said third-quarter net sales increased 21.2 percent to $99.8 million while operating profit surged 28 percent to $16.3 million.

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Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the Woodinville-based wine unit of UST, said third-quarter net sales increased 21.2 percent to $99.8 million while operating profit surged 28 percent to $16.3 million.

The company said growth “was driven by strong acclaim for several recently released wines, a new advertising campaign for Columbia Crest and improved distribution as a result of an expanded sales force.”

Parent company UST’s primary business, smokeless tobacco, saw quarterly sales decrease 5.2 percent to $364 million and operating profit decrease 8.6 percent to $195 million.

Citing ACNielsen figures, Ste. Michelle said its shipments grew 13.2 percent while overall shipments in the category increased only 2.4 percent.