California would be the fourth largest
producer of wine in the world if it were
an independent nation. California also
ranks first in wine consumption in the
U.S., followed by Florida, then New
York. There are currently 2,843
registered wineries and 4,600 winegrape
growers in California according to the
California Wine Institute.
California wine has gained world recognition for many fine wines due to the wealth and variety of soil conditions and micro climates that exist here. There are 107 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) in California. Each is a distinct winegrape growing area recognized by the U.S. government, a testament to the variety of microclimates in the state. California has 107 of the 188 AVAs established in the U.S. There are more than 60,000 registered California wine labels. Ninety percent of all U.S. wine exports are from California. According to the Wine Institute, a San Francisco-based trade group for California producers, nearly 42 percent of U.S. wine exports are shipped to the European Union. The next top markets were: Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and China.
U.S. wine exports, 90 percent from California, rebounded to a new record of $1.14 billion in winery revenues in 2010, an increase of 25.6 percent over 2009 wine exports. Volume shipments rose 1.9 percent to 425.5 million liters or 47.3 million nine-liter cases. Source: U.S. Dept of Commerce, Trade Data & Analysis.
Paso Robles Wine Country is centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California's Central Coast. As California's fastest growing wine region and one of the largest geographic appellations, the 24 square mile territory encompasses more than 26,000 vineyard acres and nearly 200 wineries. Several Paso Robles wines have taken top honors in national and international rankings, and the wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. wrote in the October issue of Food & Wine magazine, "I believe the region already shows some of the most striking potential in all of California.
The San Luis Obispo wine growing region is located half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the central California coast. San Luis Obispo County is served by San Francisco and Los Angeles International Airports with local airports in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria. There are 26,400 acres of wine grapes planted in San Luis Obispo County. The number one wine grape variety in San Luis Obispo County is Cabernet Sauvignon with 8,600 acres. Merlot is second with 4,000 acres. There are about 110 wineries in the County. In Santa Barbara County, Chardonnay is the predominant grape with 8,000 acres, and Pinot Noir follows with 2,900 acres. There are almost 90 wineries.
The Santa Barbara wine growing region is located above Los Angeles on the central California coast and is served by Los Angeles International Airport with a regional airport in Santa Barbara. Find a good showing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and some crisply textured Sauvignon and Riesling.
The San Diego wine growing region is located on the southern California coast and is served by San Diego International Airport. San Diego may be California's smallest wine growing region but is blessed with the multiple micro climates and rich soils that produce very fine Chardonnays, Cabernets and Zinfandels.
The Mendocino County Wine Region includes Lake County and is located above San Francisco on the northern California Coast and served by San Francisco and Oakland International Airports. Find delicately spiced Gewiurztraminer and lightly leafy Sauvignon to big, meaty Cabernets and Zinfandels.
The famed Napa County wine region is located above San Franciso in the northern California coastal region and is served by San Francisco and Oakland International Airports. Some of the very best Chardonnays, Cabernets and Merlots are made in the Napa Valley.
The Sonoma County wine region is located above San Francisco on the northern California coast and is served by San Francisco and Oakland International Airports. Find some of the best Chardonnays, Pinot Noir and sparkling wine that California has to offer.
The Carneros wine region borders the Napa and Sonoma regions with a distinct micro climate and soil conditions for exquisite Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and sparkling wine.
The Sierra Foothill wine region of the central California valley is generally east of San Francisco and includes the El Dorado and Amador County wine growing regions. Find award winning Zinfandels, delicate Rieslings, Sauvignons and dark Cabernets.
The Livermore wine region lies east of San Francisco Bay in the central California valley. Historically famous for Bordeaux - style white blends, you may now find a wide variety and some wonderful sparkling wine.
California wine is world renowned with sales volume increasing every year since 1993 and accounting for more than three-fifths of all wine sales in the U.S.
* California's wineries are predominantly family owned and multi-generational.
* California wineries support their communities and are philanthropic.
California's Wine Industry Benefits the State and Nation
* Produces $61.5 billion in economic value for California.
* Generates $121.8 billion for the U.S. economy.
* Creates 330,000 jobs in California and a total 820,000 jobs nationwide.
* Pays $12.3 billion in wages in California and a total $25.8 billion nationwide.
* Makes $14.7 billion in state and federal tax payments.
* Attracts 20.7 million tourists annually to all regions of California.
* Generates wine-related tourism expenditures of $2.1 billion in California.
* Gives $101.5 million in annual charitable contributions from California wineries.
California Wine and
Number of Bonded Wineries 2,972 wineries in 2009
Nearly all family-owned,
Up 268% from 807 wineries in 1990
Number of California Grape Growers 4,600
Sales of California Wine to the U.S. 197 million cases in 2009
Retail Value CA Wine Sales in the U.S. $17.9 billion in 2009
Share of U.S. Wine Market 61% by volume in 2009 About three out of every five bottles sold in the U.S. are California wines
U.S. Wine Exports $912 million winery revenues 2009 (90% from California) Up 566% from $137 million in 1990
46 million cases to 125 countries
Up 283% from 12 million cases in 1990
Winegrape Acres 531,000
Though vineyards cover less than 1%
of the state's terrain
Tons Harvested of Winegrapes 3.70 million
Farm Gate Value of Winegrapes $2.27 billion
Wine Institute, 415/512-0151, or: www.wineinstitute.org.
The Santa Clara wine region is located in the central California area and is served by San Francisco International airport and local airports in San Jose and Monterey. Find succulent Montebello Cabernets and award winning Lytton Springs Zinfandel from Sonoma grapes.
The Santa Cruz wine region is located below San Francisco on the central California coast and is served San Francisco International Airports and local airports in Monterey and San Jose. Find wonderful Pinot Noirs in this cooler coastal region and some genuine original wines from Marsanne, Roussanne, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre vines.
The Monterey wine growing region is located below San Francisco on the central California coast and is served by San Francisco International Airports and local airports in Monterey and San Jose. Find fine wines from cool climate grapes such as Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chenin Blanc.
The wine regions of California are often divided into 4 main regions-
* North Coast - Includes most of North Coast, California, north of San Francisco Bay. The large North Coast AVA covers most of the region. Notable wine regions include Napa Valley and Sonoma County and the smaller sub AVAs within them. Mendocino and Lake County are also part of this region.
* Central Coast - Includes most of the Central Coast of California and the area south and west of San Francisco Bay down to Santa Barbara County. The large Central Coast AVA covers the region. Notable wine regions in this area include Santa Clara Valley AVA, Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, San Lucas AVA, Paso Robles AVA, Santa Maria Valley AVA, Santa Ynez Valley and Livermore Valley AVA.
* South Coast - Includes portion of Southern California, namely the coastal regions south of Los Angeles down to the border with Mexico. Notable wine regions in this area include Temecula Valley AVA, Antelope Valley/Leona Valley AVA, San Pasqual Valley AVA and Ramona Valley AVA.
* Central Valley - Includes California's Central Valley and the Sierra Foothills AVA. Notable wine regions in this area include the Lodi AVA.