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Published:  23 July, 2008

The California wine industry has grown nearly 40% in four years,and has an annual impact of $45.4 billion on the state's economy. The figures come from the Wine Institute and California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) in a study entitled Economic Impact of California Wine 2004, which was prepared by business consulting firm MKF Research. The study covers the period between 1998, when the industry generated $33 billion of economic activity, and 2002, when the figure rose to $45.4 billion. Wine Institute president and CEO Robert Koch, who said the state's wine industry has created more than 200,000 jobs, added: Despite the challenges of intense global competition, trade barriers, agricultural pests and the constant threat of increased taxes and regulations, the state's wine industry is strong, and a major contributor to the economic vitality of California.' The study also shows that visitor numbers to California wineries increased by 38% over the four-year period, from 10.7 million to 14.8 million, and that tourist expenditure accounted for $1.3 billion. CAWG president Karen Ross praised the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit' of winegrape growers, adding that California's unique climate, land and character all contributed to a remarkable beverage'.