SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached $1.61 billion in winery revenues in 2015, an all-time record and a 7.6% increase from 2014. Volume was up 4.1% from the previous year to 461 million liters or 51.2 million cases.
"California wines appeal to consumers across the globe who recognize the unique quality and excellent value of our wines. Consumers are also attracted to California's trend-setting lifestyle, innovative cuisine, beautiful wine country destinations and emphasis on environmental responsibility—all of which are reflected in our wines," said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute President and CEO.
Of the top 10 export markets for California wines, the European Union's 28-member countries were the largest, accounting for $622 million, followed by Canada, $461 million; Hong Kong, $97 million; Japan, $96 million; China, $56 million; Nigeria, $29 million; Mexico, $26 million; South Korea, $23 million; Switzerland, $21 million; and Singapore, $15 million.
"More than 170 California wineries participate in Wine Institute's California Wine Export Program and export to 138 countries supported by 15 representative offices around the world which develop markets in 25 countries," said Wine Institute Vice President International Marketing Linsey Gallagher. California wine exports have increased 91% by value in the last decade and we're seeing a "premiumization" trend with dollar sales outpacing volume growth. This growth is occurring despite heavily-subsidized foreign competitors, high tariffs and strong dollar."
"Removing obstacles to trade and ensuring that California wines have fair and equal access to international sales channels remain our top focus," said Tom LaFaille, Wine Institute Vice President and International Trade Counsel. "Unfortunately, more and more countries and provinces are "modernizing" their laws to benefit only local wine producers. Wine Institute works closely with the U.S. government to continue to lead initiatives against discriminatory trade barriers which violate international agreements."
Wine Institute's Export Program offers many tools to support California Wines category building efforts around the world, including a consumer website discovercaliforniawines.com in eight languages, social media campaigns in 16 countries, an educational California Wines PowerPoint tool, educational and entertaining video assets, and a strong partnership with Visit California to increase tourism to California wine regions. The program organizes California's participation in international trade shows and trade missions, hosts master classes and seminars as well as tastings for trade, media and consumers worldwide. Last year's active schedule of California wine country visits brought in 150 international media and wine buyers from 15 countries.
Since 1985, Wine Institute has served as the administrator of the Market Access Program, a cost-share export promotion program managed by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, see: Wine Institute's California Wine Export Program
SOURCE Wine Institute