Fueled by strong gains in premium wine volume, California wines sales to the U.S. continued to increase in 2007 to a record-high 457 million gallons (192.1 million nine-liter cases), up 2% over the previous year.
The retail value of these shipments increased 6% to $18.9 billion, according to the year-end summary in the Gomberg-Fredrikson Report.
Total California winery shipments to all markets in the U.S. and abroad increased 3% to 554 million gallons (233.2 million nine-liter cases) last year.
“Strong consumer interest, along with growing retailer and restaurant support and more direct-to-consumer sales, is resulting in wider distribution and selection of California wines,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute.
“The new California tourism TV advertising campaign is also raising consumer awareness of the state’s diverse wine regions, its talented families, and its outstanding wine and food offerings.”
Noted wine industry consultant Jon Fredrikson: “The long-term trend for California wine is favorable with the U.S. wine market growing for 14 consecutive years, increasing 66% by volume from 1993 to 2007. Wine continues to enjoy a positive standing with the press, government and consumers, and many positive news reports on moderate wine consumption and health have also contributed to its positive image. Though the economy is slowing, wine is gaining traction among American adult consumers, and it is likely that wine consumption will continue to expand over the next decade.”
U.S. wine exports, 95% from California, totaled $951 million and 453 million liters (120 million gallons) in 2007, an increase of 8.6% in value and 12% in volume, compared to 2006.
In Europe, where the U.S. ships more than half of its sales abroad, exports totaled $474 million. Wine exports to Canada were $234 million, up 23%, compared to the previous year. The long-term trend of California wine exports shows steady expansion, with the 2007 number representing a 77% increase in exports by value in the last decade.