California Wines Are Pouring Into World Markets
California commands a 90-percent share of the $1.49 billion of wine sold to overseas markets in 2014, the second-highest dollar value for U.S. wine exports and a 64 percent surge from five years ago. The growth came despite a strong dollar, the West Coast port slowdown that began last July, and a downward trend in overall U.S. wine exports compared to the previous year according to the latest export report released by the Wine Institute (WI) in San Francisco.
The Institute’s vice president for International Marketing, Lindsey Gallagher, attributes the growth to the combined effectiveness of new technologies and 15 international representative offices that provide overseas customers with product information and promotional assistance, and the effectiveness of the WI’s California Wine Export Program which assists more than 170 wineries in exporting to 125 countries.
“We introduced several new tools this year including the translation of our consumer website into eight languages, social media campaigns now live in 16 countries, an educational California Wines PowerPoint tool, and a strong partnership with the California Tourism Board to increase tourism to California wine regions,” Gallagher says.
She sites California’s participation in international trade shows and trade missions to key export markets, tastings for trade, media and consumers worldwide and an active schedule of California wine country visits by international media and wine buyers.
Of the top 10 export markets for California wines, the European Union’s 28-member countries were the largest, accounting for $518 million; Canada was second with $487 million and its strongest growth seen in the provinces of Quebec and Alberta. Japan followed with $88 million, China with $71 million, Hong Kong with $69 million and Mexico up 14 percent to $24 million.