California Wine Exports Reached Record Sales Globally in 2016
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California Wine Exports Reached Record Sales Globally in 2016

California wine exports, which represent 90% of the total exports from the US, have achieved record global sales in 2016. The country reached a total figure of $1.62 billion (€1.53 billion) last year, driven mostly by the premium sector.

“California wine exports continue to reflect the trend toward premiumization with the dollar value of our wine sales outpacing volume shipments” said Wine Institute President and CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch. He added that the wines from the region are well positioned in the premium sector internationally, with Californian vinters offering “quality, value, diverse styles and environmental stewardship in their winemaking.”

The EU is California’s biggest export market, followed by Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland and Singapore.

Linsey Gallagher, manager of the Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program explained that “California wine exports have grown 78% by value in the last decade despite heavily-subsidized foreign competitors and high tariffs. Our global trading partners are increasingly acknowledging the high quality of wine from the Golden State and responding to our California Wines marketing efforts throughout the world.”

California Wine Exports in EU and UK

Regarding the EU market, export volumes have experienced a decreased in most countries, mostly due to lower priced wines. However, total sales have increased and exports’ value went up by 2.7%, which shows the interest in the premium wines sector among European consumers.

In the UK, “It’s a fantastic result for California wine in the UK, continuing three years of accelerating growth”, said Wine Institute United Kingdom Trade Director Justin Knock. Again, the trend to premiumization is appreciated, with 18 value growth and, contrasting with the EU, volume growth as well, increasing by 5%. “Volume shipped exceeded 13 million 9-liter cases to the UK, making it the top volume export destination for California wines globally”, added Justin.

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