Global exports of American-made wine, 90 percent of which is produced in California, reached a $1.61 billion in revenue during 2015, a record number for the U.S. wine industry.
Last year, demand for premium wines, as well as the expansion of California wines into Cuba, raised revenue by 7.6 percent from the last year. The volume of wines exported from the U.S. also increased by 4.1 percent. The EU, Canada, and Hong Kong accounted for the top markets for California wines in 2015, with revenues of $622 million, $461 million, and $97 million, respectively, according to research from the Wine Institute, a California wine industry group.
Japan, China, Nigeria, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland, and Singapore also made up substantial markets, despite competition from other major wine-producing countries like France and Spain. Importantly, American wines have seen increased export value over the last several years that has exceeded the volume of wines exported.
“This growth is occurring despite heavily-subsidized foreign competitors, high tariffs and a strong dollar,” said Linsey Gallagher, Wine Institute’s vice president for international marketing.
The growing popularity of California wines, which have increase more than 90 percent in value over the last decade, suggests that wine drinkers around the world are increasingly receptive to the high-quality wines produced by American vintners.
“Removing obstacles to trade and ensuring that California wines have fair and equal access to international sales channels remain our top focus,” said Tom LaFaille, vice president of the institute’s international trade council. “Unfortunately, more and more countries and provinces are ‘modernizing’ their laws to benefit only local wine producers. Wine Institute works closely with the U.S. government to continue to lead initiatives against discriminatory trade barriers which violate international agreements.”