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Wine industry contributes $220 billion to economy, study finds

The study by the trade group WineAmerica notes that while California accounts for the bulk of the revenue in wine, there are wineries in all 50 states generating jobs and income for their communities.
Tim Hearden

Capital Press

Published on October 13, 2017 8:21AM

Labels identifying LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards Chardonnay are placed on bottles at the Lodi, Calif. bottling facility. A new study puts the value of U.S. wine production and marketing at nearly $220 billion.

Courtesy of LangeTwins

Labels identifying LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards Chardonnay are placed on bottles at the Lodi, Calif. bottling facility. A new study puts the value of U.S. wine production and marketing at nearly $220 billion.


Wine production and marketing will contribute nearly $220 billion to the U.S. economy in 2017, a new study by a vintners’ association asserts.

While California wines account for 85 percent of the total, wine is produced in all 50 states, according to the study by John Dunham and Associates of New York for the group WineAmerica.

The figure includes $84.5 billion in economic contributions directly attributed to the wine industry and its nearly 1 million jobs, plus the ancillary benefits from supplies, investment, tourism, taxes and other transactions that come as a result of the wine businesses being there, the report states.

All told, wine production and supporting industries create more than 1.7 million jobs and $75.8 billion in annual wages nationwide, according to WineAmerica.

“I won’t say it was a surprise, but it was a delight,” WineAmerica president Jim Trezise said. “I knew the number would be really big. I thought it would be in the neighborhood of $200 (billion), but to have it be $220 (billion) ... was a nice delight.”

The study was done before wind-whipped wildfires swept through California’s prime growing region in Napa and Sonoma counties beginning Oct. 8, destroying several wineries and forcing thousands to be evacuated.

If production in the Napa-Sonoma region is significantly curtailed in the next several years, the study points a valuable spotlight on producers in other areas that will meet consumers’ ever-expanding demand for wines while the northern San Francisco Bay area recovers.

There are 10,236 wineries in all 50 states, and grapes are grown on 677,629 acres of vineyards in 49 states, according to the study. The nearly 43 million tourist visits to wineries nationwide generate more than $17.6 billion in expenditures, and the wine industry generates a total of $36.5 billion in total taxes, the study found.

“One of the reasons we wanted to do this study is that when people think of wine, they think of California, as they should,” Trezise said. “But wine is one of the few agricultural commodities ... that are made in all 50 states. We wanted to get that point across.”

Trezise said he had commissioned similar studies on a statewide level as a former president of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. He said the national study aimed to help improve the business and regulatory climate for the wine industry everywhere.

“When we have a piece of legislation, whether it be immigration or trade policy or taxes, we don’t have to go in and say we’re important,” he said. “They will know that we’re important.”

WineAmerica, also called the National Association of American Wineries, is a trade advocacy group with more than 600 members nationwide.



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