While I was traveling, a new economic impact study about the Washington state wine industry was released, showcasing impressive statistics about the industry’s incredible growth and its positive effect on the economy.
According to the Washington State Wine Commission, which released the study, the state’s wine industry is valued at more than $8.6 billion annually in Washington state and more than $14.9 billion annually in the U.S. — approximately three times higher than a similar study conducted in 2007.
In 2010, Washington’s wineries produced 11.2 million cases of wine, generating revenue in excess of $1 billion, providing the livelihoods for nearly 30,000 people and hundreds of connected businesses and organizations.
“Throughout this period Washington wine has benefited from strong, pragmatic leadership, quality education and an increasingly effective research program which has enabled the industry to overcome a multitude of economic and environmental challenges,” the report states. “Washington wine has shown little of the complacency which has imperiled many other major producing regions in this difficult period.”
Here is some additional interesting information from the study:
- Since 2005, the number of licensed wineries in Washington State has more than doubled from 360 to 739 today.
- The state has also added more than 13,000 acres of vineyards during this time – from just over 30,000 acres (12,000 hectares) in 2005 to more than 43,000 acres (17,000 hectares) today.
- The industry supports nearly 30,000 jobs in Washington State and more than 70,000 jobs nationally, with wages of nearly $1.2 billion and more than $2.8 billion, respectively.
- The industry generates more than $237 million in annual tax revenues to the state of Washington and pays nearly $1.4 billion annually in taxes across the country.
- Each year, Washington State draws more than 2.4 million wine-related tourists, who spend nearly $1.1 billion in communities throughout the state.
Want to read more? The complete study, conducted by California-based Stonebridge Research, can be found at washingtonwine.org.