U.S. wine exports, over 90% from California, reached $1.47 billion in winery revenues and 375 million liters (41.7 million cases) in 2018. Total exports were down 4.8% in value and 1.2% in volume because of the strong dollar, retaliatory tariffs, competition from foreign wine producers who are heavily subsidized by their governments and benefiting from free trade agreements in key markets.
“California wines performed well under very challenging circumstances as top markets continued to embrace our reputation for premium quality, leadership in sustainable winegrowing and diverse offerings,” said Robert P. Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “Strong marketing programs that invite international consumers to connect with California as a world-class destination and wine producing region continued to generate new fans among media, trade and consumers.”
California wine exports have grown nearly 60% by value in the past decade. Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program includes more than 170 wineries that export to 142 countries. Thirteen global representative offices conduct marketing and promotional programs in 25 countries across the globe.
The top 10 export markets for California wines are: the European Union’s 28-member countries, $469 million, Canada, $449 million; Hong Kong, $130 million; Japan, $93 million; China, $59 million; Mexico, $27 million; South Korea, $25 million; Nigeria, $15 million; Dominican Republic, $14 million; and Singapore, $14 million.
“We have made critical progress on trade agreements with the UK, Mexico and Canada, and we continue to advocate for wine tariff elimination in key markets including China and Japan,” said Charles Jefferson, Wine Institute Vice President of Federal and International Public Policy. “Wine Institute will continue fighting for a level playing field and the removal of trade barriers in markets around the world.”