California Wines Fuel $1.49 Billion in U.S.

Of the top 10 export markets for California wines, the European Union's 28-member countries were the largest accounting for $518 million.

The Luxonomist. 27/02/2015
California wines

U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached $1.49 billion in winery revenues in 2014, the second highest dollar value for U.S. wine exports and a 64% increase from five years ago. Challenged by a strong dollar and the West Coast port slowdown that began last July, U.S. wine exports were slightly down compared to the previous year while volume was up to 442.7 million liters or 49.2 million cases.

«With three back-to-back California vintages (2012, 2013 and 2014) heralded for their high quality and size, we have the ability to meet consumer demand for our wines both in the U.S. and abroad», said Wine Institute President and CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch. «Despite our strong dollar and heavily subsidized foreign competition and their high tariffs, consumers worldwide are attracted to all things California—our iconic lifestyle, scenic landscapes, great wine and food, and emphasis on environmental stewardship».

California wines

Of the top 10 export markets for California wines, the European Union’s 28-member countries were the largest accounting for $518 million; followed by Canada, $487 million; Japan, $88 million; China, $71 million; Hong Kong, $69 million; Mexico, $24 million; South Korea, $22.2 million; Nigeria, $21.9 million; Vietnam, $20 million; and Singapore, $16 million.«Wine Institute’s global branding campaigns for California wine help develop markets in more than 25 countries with 15 representative offices around the world to provide market information and promotional assistance», said Wine Institute Vice President International Marketing Linsey Gallagher.

«We introduced several new tools this year including the translation of our consumer website into eight languages, social media campaigns now live in 16 countries (Facebook, Twitter and Weibo and WeChat in China), an educational California Wines PowerPoint tool, and a strong partnership with Visit California to increase tourism to Californiawine regions. We organize California’s participation in international trade shows and trade missions to key export markets, host retail and on-premise tastings for trade, media and consumers worldwide and have an active schedule of California wine country visits by international media and wine buyers».


«Wine Institute continues to work closely with Members of Congress and the Administration to remove trade barriers and provide a level playing field for our vintners around the world. First and foremost, Congress needs to approve Trade Promotion Authority («fast track») legislation so that the tariffs U.S. wines face in key Asia-Pacificand European markets can be eliminated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership free trade negotiations», said Tom LaFaille, Wine Institute Vice President and International Trade Counsel.

Since 1985, Wine Institute has served as the administrator of the Market Access Program, a cost-share export promotion program managed by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. More than 170 wineries participate in Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program and export to 125 countries.

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