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Monday, February 6, 2017

Good Times for the American Wine Industry

It's good times for the American economy overall and that includes the wine biz. Pretty much all of the indicators are looking up.


California, producer of almost 90% of America's wine, now has sufficient water in almost all wine grape growing areas. The exception being the Santa Barbara County area that is still in extreme drought (the 2nd highest level of drought).

Wine Shipping

In 2016 wineries shipped over five million cases valued at over $2 billion, a huge 19% increase over the previous year, and six straight years of growth. This is a much higher growth rate than retail stores (brick-and-mortar) though most sales are still via the store shelf.

Wine Sales
Most winery owners have
a reason to smile
image from

Revenue from domestic wine sales is up. Imports from France and New Zealand both saw almost 15% sales growth.

Bottle Price

The average price of a bottle of wine sold passed $10 for the first time.

The Competition

Wine is holding its own against beer and spirits. Beer sales overall are down though craft beer is way up.

New Vineyards in California

For the premium coastal areas most of the new plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon are in Napa and Sonoma Counties. Most Chardonnay is in Sonoma. Biggest growth in new Pinot Noir plantings is in Santa Barbara.

Sonoma County Tourism

There have been eight straight years of growth for the hospitality industry with hotel revenues doubling since 2009. Hotel revenues rose over 9% in the last year with the average room rate going up 7% to just over $160/night. There is a just completed 200-room hotel in the county (next to a casino) with several others in the works. The small county commercial airport that's had either no or one airline serving it forever will soon have three.
One of the many ways Sonoma County Tourism
brings in business