Washington Trails Only California in Wine's Influence

    The Washington wine, grape and grape juice industries contribute $3 billion annually to the state’s economy and more than $4.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy, according to a new study commissioned by the Washington Wine Commission and the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.

     The study, developed by MKF Research LLC, studied data from 2006 and was an update to a previously released 2001 study based on 1999 data.

     “As the second largest producer of premium wine in the United States, this study further illustrates that Washington wine is a marquee industry for the state,” said Robin Pollard, executive director of the Washington Wine Commission. “Washington’s grape production has bolstered our economy through significant job growth, trade, taxes and revenues — and wine, in particular, provides a value-add with wine country tourism.

     “As wine consumption continues to increase in the U.S. and abroad, we expect further growth and visibility of Washington’s wineries and grape growers.”

     The comprehensive study, titled “Economic Impact of Washington Grapes and Wine,” measures the full economic impact of the wine, grape and grape juice industries in terms of employment, agricultural statistics, product revenues, taxes and several other indices.

     Among the key findings:

    *** Employment –19,000 jobs across the state with a payroll of nearly $579 million; nationwide the number jumps to 29,000 and $850 million. These figures represent a significant increase from 11,000 jobs and wages of $350 million in 1999.

     *** Taxes — The wine, grape and grape juice products sectors paid more than $145.1 million in state and local taxes in Washington State. These sectors also were responsible for an additional $268.7 million in federal taxes and $57.5 million in taxes in other states.

     *** Winery Revenues — The number of wineries has increased from 160 in 1999 to 534 in 2006. Winery revenues have increased 51 percent from $289 million in 1999 to $436 million in 2006.

     *** Tourism — Wine-related tourism expenditures increased 1,157 percent over 1999, reaching $237.6 million for 2006, a 165.3 percent increase per year. The number of wine-related tourists in Washington increased from 350,000 in 1999 to 1.7 million in 2006.

     “Washington State’s perfect climate for grape growing, combined with innovative viticultural practices and vineyard development, will continue to be a rapidly growing sector of Washington’s agricultural economy,” said Vicky Scharlau, executive director of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.

     “The state is producing a large variety of wines of premium quality, and we expect that to have a ‘ripple effect’ of economic benefits for the state and nationwide.”


Posted in Wine Region Profiles
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