2012 U.S. Wine Exports, 90 Percent From California Reach Record High Of $1.4 Billion

Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:06am EST

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SAN FRANCISCO,  Feb. 21, 2013  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Setting a new record,
U.S. wine exports, 90% from  California, reached  $1.43 billion  in winery
revenues in 2012, up 2.6% compared to the previous year, a gain for the third
consecutive year.  Volume shipments reached 424.6 million liters or 112.2
million cases.  

"California  wine exports continue to increase because of our quality, diversity
and value, despite a highly competitive global market, significant trade
barriers and a still recovering economy," said Wine Institute President and CEO 
Robert P. (Bobby) Koch.  "We've worked to create more opportunities to export
our wines by supporting our government in opening markets with Free Trade
Agreements and other negotiations."       

Of the top markets for California Wines, the European Union's 27-member
countries are the largest accounting for  $485 million, up 1.7%; followed by 
Canada,  $434 million, up 14%;  Hong Kong,  $115 million, down 30%;  Japan, 
$111 million, up 6%;  China,  $74 million, up 18%;  Vietnam,  $27 million, up
22%;  Mexico,  $20 million, up 4%;  South Korea,  $16 million, up 26%.

"Our global campaign supporting our  California  wine exports communicates 
California  as an aspirational place-its beautiful landscapes, iconic lifestyle,
leadership in sustainability, and great wine and food.  All of our marketing
activities in 25 countries convey these messages to consumers and trade around
the world," said Wine Institute International Marketing Director  Linsey
Gallagher.  "Additionally, we've expanded these messages to our new California
Wines video campaign, Facebook and Twitter social media campaigns across the
globe, and are in the process of completing translation of our consumer website,
 www.discovercaliforniawines.com, into eight languages.  We have also launched a
full scale campaign in  China  to introduce  California  wines in that expanding
wine market."  

"Wine Institute is collaborating with our U.S. Government as well as the World
Wine Trade Group, the EU and  Pacific Rim  governments to reduce trade barriers.
 In particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation "Wine Regulators Forum" are working to implement good
regulatory practices that will protect consumers and facilitate trade in our 
Asia-Pacific  markets," said Wine Institute International Trade Policy Director 
Tom LaFaille.

Five of Wine Institute's 14 Regional Trade Directors reported on key markets as


The Canadian consumer continues to embrace  California  wines, making it the
fastest growing wine region in this country by volume and value according to 
Rick Slomka, Wine Institute Trade Director for  Canada.  Much of the growth is
coming from red blend brands which have strong appeal to the younger generation
of wine consumers.  At the same time, Canadian consumers continue to show
interest in  California  wines at higher price points with sales of premium
wines reaching higher levels than ever before.  This momentum is expected to
continue in 2013 with major retail promotions this spring in the three largest
provincial markets of  Quebec,  Ontario  and  British Columbia.

Continental European Union

"Germany  remains a key market for  California  wines, with exports increasing
6% in value.  Renewed interest from several large retailers that conducted 
California  promotions last year contributed to that growth," said Wine
Institute European Trade Director Paul Molleman.  Another key market is  Sweden,
where the Systembolaget monopoly reported  California  wine sales of almost 17
million bottles, mostly red wine, up 14% from 2011, he added.

United Kingdom

"California  wine exports grew by 2.8% in value while  France,  Italy,  Spain, 
Australia,  Chile  and  South Africa  all lost ground in the UK on-trade
market," said Wine Institute UK Trade Director  John McLaren.  With an uncertain
economy, and against a background of governmental anti-alcohol abuse measures,
the UK wine trade has suffered some setbacks, but  California  has done well to
preserve its market share and take advantage of some new opportunities in the
independent retail and restaurant sectors.


"U.S. bulk wine exports to  Japan  have been growing as major Japanese importers
are now importing popular-priced  California  wine brands in bulk and bottling
in  Japan.  This reduces the burdensome import duty to a limited extent and
makes inventory control easier," said Wine Institute Japan Trade Director
Ken-ichi Hori.   

For bottled U.S. wine,  Japan  is now importing more premium priced  California 
wines than in the past.  Unlike other New World wine exporting countries, 
California  wine is well represented in high-end restaurants because of our
successful annual restaurant promotion, Hori said.

China  and Emerging Markets

"Wine's prominence is growing throughout  Asia  as consumption remains buoyant
and forecasts estimate continued growth.   Hong Kong  is  California's third
largest export market by value, although the value declined in 2012 compared to
impressive growth the previous years following elimination of  Hong Kong's 80%
import duty.   China, a top priority growth market for our vintners, grew 18% to
 $74 million  and remains the fifth largest export market by value.   South
Korea's growth increased to 26%, following the recent U.S.-Korea Free Trade
Agreement.  Exports to  Mexico  grew a second consecutive year with the value
there nearly doubling since 2009," according to  Eric Pope, Wine Institute's
Regional Director, Emerging Markets.   

Since 1985, Wine Institute has served as the administrator of the Market Access
Program, an export promotion program managed by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural
Service.  More than 150 wineries participate in Wine Institute's California Wine
Export Program and export to 125 countries.

SOURCE  Wine Institute

Linsey Gallagher, +1-415-356-7515, Gladys Horiuchi, +1-415-356-7525,

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