California wine industry flourishing

February 29, 2008 10:19:58 PM PST
The Wine Institute announced that U.S. wine exports, 95 percent of which are from California, reached a record $951 million last year, an 8.6 percent increase over the previous year.

The volume of shipments increased 12 percent last year to 453 million liters, according to the Wine Institute.

About half of U.S. wine shipments go to the European Union accounting for $474 million, followed by Canada at $234 million, Japan at $63 million, Switzerland at $26 million, and Mexico at $24 million.

Other major growth markets include South Korea for up 60 percent to $18 million, China for up 74 percent to $16 million and Singapore for up 50 percent to $9 million.

Joseph Rollo, director of the Wine Institute International Department, said long-term sales trends are positive.

"Over the last decade, U.S. and California wine exports increased 77 percent in value and were shipped to 125 countries," Rollo said.