Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

U.S. wine exports pass $1 billion

By Jessica Yadegaran
Thursday, February 26th, 2009 at 12:30 pm in Corkheads.

Here’s a silver lining among the depressing news.

According to the Wine Institute, U.S. wine exports (90 percent of which come from California) passed the $1 billion milestone for the first time with $1,008,259,000 in revenues in 2008.

That’s a 6 percent increase from the previous year. That means that we’ve remained competitive despite psycho changes in U.S. dollar exchange rates. And that nasty recession thing.

Nearly half of U.S. exports go to Europe. Germany, in particular, has seen a renewed interest in collecting California wines. After Europe, Canada, Japan,  Hong Kong and then Mexico.

China, where everyone wants to be because of the larger size of its population,  grew too, by 34 percent. But the slower rate is a sign that the global economic crisis is impacting the Chinese market, at least for imported goods such as wine.

Plus, the Chinese have been getting a lot of the higher end Australian wine brands while we get Yellowtail.

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