California wine vines

Wikimedia/Anderson Valley Vines

Millennials’ Wine-Drinking Habits Are Good News for California

California wine sales in the U.S. hit a record $34.1 billion this year
California wine vines

Wikimedia/Anderson Valley Vines

California wine sales in the U.S. hit a record $34.1 billion this year

California’s wine producers had a very good year in 2016, because the value of California wine shipments in the U.S. last year hit a record $34.1 billion. That’s 4.6 percent higher than the value of wine shipped in the U.S. in 2015, and 2015 was a pretty spectacular wine-selling year in its own right. Experts say a lot of that growth is being driven by millennials’ drinking habits.

According to Drinks Business, California shipped 238 million cases of wine in the U.S. in 2016, which is a big increase over 191 cases shipped in the U.S. just 10 years ago in 2006. That growth is largely due to population increases. There are more people, and those people are drinking wine. Also, millennials are of a wine-drinking age now, and they’re buying a lot. They’re also buying wine at unconventional types of locations, like movie theaters and nail salons.

Millennials are also reportedly particularly interested in drinking premium wines, and it’s wines over $10 that have seen the most growth in the U.S. in recent years.

“[Millennials] are willing to try varietals from all places in the world that are grown right here and are willing to spend a little more too, and not just drink low-end stuff,” said Stuart Spencer of the Lodi Winegrape Commission to CBS News.

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California wines account for about 60 percent of the wine sold in the U.S.