Washington Wine Industry Worth $15B, According To New StudyApril 25, 2012
Washington’s wine industry is worth nearly $15 billion in economic impact nationwide, second only to California’s $122 billion, according to a new study by Stonebridge Research for the Washington Wine Commission. The wine business now accounts for 127,000 jobs within Washington, up from 19,000 in 2006 and 11,000 in 1999. The state produced 11.2 million cases of wine in 2010, according to the study, resulting in direct winery revenues of over $1 billion. Much of those totals come from top Washington wine player Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, a subsidiary of Altria (formerly Philip Morris), which had volume of 7.32 million cases (up 10%) and revenue of $516 million (up 12%) in 2011. Ste. Michelle president and CEO Ted Baseler says that Washington, along with California and Oregon, will need to continue to aggressively expand vineyard area to meet rising demand for premium wines in the U.S. in the years ahead (Washington’s vineyard area, currently around 44,000 acres, has risen by more than 40% since 2005).