Back when I was a cub reporter for my hometown newspaper, covering high school baseball and football on the weekends, I knew that I was a “Figure Filbert.”
That’s the nickname that was given to Ernest Lanigan, a reporter of the early 20th century who seemingly was obsessed with statistics. He claimed to have no real interest in baseball, but wanted to know what made each player unique, and invented his own statistics to do that. As an example, nobody kept track of runs batted in until Lanigan did.
I enjoyed stats, too, and usually cited some in my stories. I was no Ernest Lanigan, but I definitely was a “Figure Filbert.”
Statistics are not exclusive to sports, of course, and these days, I always look forward to the annual wine industry statistical update compiled by the Wines Vines Analytics team and Wines & Vines magazine.
Here are some of the stats just released…
- There now are 9,436 wineries in North America.
- 4,054 of those wineries are in California.
- The overall winery count in North America grew 5% from 2014 to 2015.
- There now are 1,640 virtual wineries in the U.S., up 165 in 2014. Virtual wineries do not have their own winemaking facilities, but rather produce their wines at “host” or “custom crush” facilities.
- Washington ranks second among states when it comes to its number of wineries — but it’s a distant second. In 2015, it added 15 wineries, increasing its total to 718.
- Oregon ranks third with 689. It added 57 wineries in 2015.
- We’ve reported many times that each of America’s 50 states is home to at least one winery. Lesser known is that half of our states have at least 50 wineries.
- The fastest pace of growth in 2015 was experienced in Florida, which saw its number of wineries increase by 22% to 55. Watch out, Mickey Mouse!
- Significant growth also was shown in Ohio, with the number of wineries up 15% to 181, and in Minnesota, also up 15% to 62.
- Although the wine industry, like many other industries, has experienced much consolidation in recent years, the vast majority of wineries are small businesses. Of North America’s 9,436 wineries, 6,850 produce fewer than 5,000 cases of wine per year.