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California wine sales hit record-high sales volume

Published:  11 July, 2016

California wines sales both domestically in the US and international hit a record of 276 million cases in 2015, with an estimated retail value of US$31.9 billion, according to the Wine Institute located in California.

Of the record breaking numbers 229 million cases were shipped domestically.

"California wines continue to attract global recognition for their outstanding quality and value,"" said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute president and chief executive officer.

Koch sighted the increase in consumer knowledge around wines is helping to drive growth. "Consumers are comfortable with wine, and well informed about it, which is translating to growing interest in California's regions, American Viticultural Areas, sustainable wine growing practices and how wine complements their lifestyles," said Koch.

According to the Wine Institute figures, US wine exports, of which 90% come from California, reached a record $1.61 billion in winery revenues in 2015.

Volume shipments totalled 461 million litres or 51.2 million cases. The European Union was the top destination for US wine exports, accounting for $622 million of sales. The EU beat out neighbouring Canada.

The above $10 price point for wines in the US is proving to be a great opportunity for wines.

"The premium wine segment $10 and above is continuing its long-term growth trend," said Jon Moramarco, founder and managing partner of BW166, which is a beer, wine and spirits market research firm.

The premium segment accounts for about a quarter of the shipments but half of the revenues. These sales offset the shrinking volume of value-priced wines $9 and under," said Moramarco.

Following the decline of the pound Sterling and the US dollar strenthening, California exports may become more expensive and exchange rate could become a headwind for the category.