Number of U.S. Wineries Continues to Grow

The number of wineries in the United States continues to grow, reports Wine Business Monthly.
The total at the end of November was 6,223, up 122 over the past year.
That equals the 6% growth pace of 2008 and shows some resilience in the
wine industry despite the bad economy. To be sure, the ‚€œlaunch‚€
decisions for many of these new wineries were probably made in better
times, and the growth was much more modest than the explosive 10% in
2007 and 15% in 2006. But still, we need to drink even in hard times,
right?

‚€œWe had explosive growth in past years; but if wineries grow 5
percent a year, that‚€™s still pretty good growth,‚€ Bill Nelson,
president of the U.S. wine trade association WineAmerica, told WBM. ‚€œThese are still big numbers. At 5 percent a year, the number of wineries doubles in 15 years.‚€

While I and other bloggers and writers have trumpeted the rise of
‚€œregional wines,‚€ the magazine reported that California continues to
have about half of the nation‚€™s wineries, a figure that has remained
steady over the past four years. California has 3,047 wineries, followed
not so closely by Washington state with 564, Oregon with 453, New York
with 229, Virginia with 163, Texas with 157, Pennsylvania with 141, Ohio
with 120, Michigan at 104 and North Carolina at 101.

The WBM article did not give last year‚€™s rankings, but Virginia‚€™s
growth has been phenomenal in 2009 and I‚€™d wager the Old Dominion
overtook the Lone Star state last year. These rankings overall show the
vitality of the wine industry in the Eastern United States.

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3 Responses to Number of U.S. Wineries Continues to Grow

  1. Jeff Siegel says:

    I think you missed one of the important points about the study that
    augers well for regional wine, Dave. It’s that 10 states — 7 of which
    aren’t California, Washington and Oregon — have more than 100 wineries.
    Also, from what I know of the numbers, the regional figures in the
    study are almost certainly not up to date. Texas’ wine trade group
    reports almost 200 wineries as of January 2010, and I’m sure the other
    top regional states are equally under reported.

  2. That would indeed be explosive growth for Texas in the last six weeks! :-)

  3. Allen Clark says:

    Dave, I’m wondering if you’re aware of the methods that Wine Business
    Monthly uses in tracking the number of wineries. The obvious part would
    be to annually collect the lists of bonded wineries from each state.
    But one has to assume that, while a person/company needs to apply for a
    bond to make and sell wine in a given state, it’s not likely any action
    is taken to remove the listing when a winery goes out of business. In
    short, I’m wondering how and if they can get information on the wineries
    that go under, as one would logically assume there was really a net
    subtraction over the past year or two.

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