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California wineries step up wine production

Published:  23 July, 2008

US: The Paso Robles AVA and Greater San Luis Obispo County Wine and Wine Grape industries are set to increase their wine production by an additional 3.6million cases a year.

The development of more Paso Robles AVA brands is expected to return higher income to growers, increases winery profits and raises tax revenues. Capturing this added value for San Luis Obispo County could boost the economic impact by $1.4bn.

"Realising the growth potential for additional Paso Robles brands with the existing acreage is an even greater reason to strengthen the regional brand," said Jacob.

"The study confirms how greater brand awareness could provide a significant economic return to the region."

The wine and wine grape industry is California's number one finished agricultural product, and is the largest crop in the county.

Still young in its development, the Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo wine regions have tripled in size over the past decade with 217 bonded wineries and 29,000 vineyard acres countywide. This accelerated growth ranks Paso Robles and Greater San Luis Obispo third in the state in terms of wineries, below Sonoma and Napa respectively.

The California wine industry as a whole has a $51.8bn economic impact on the State of California.

"This study is an invaluable tool to the continued economic vitality and competitive future of the County," said Michael Manchak, president and chief executive of the EVC

"The data reported details important employment statistics and moreover suggests the need of a more highly skilled labour force as the wine industry matures."

By capturing more Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo AVA brands, an additional 5,600 skilled jobs in marketing, sales, management, finance and science could be attained increasing the industry's employment by more than 30%.

The wine and wine grape economic impact report is the first of a series the EVC plans to conduct for developing a county-wide economic strategy.

The two organisations along with 10 private businesses and public partners commissioned the wine business consulting firm, MKF Research LLC, to prepare the region's first ever wine industry study based on 2006 data.

Data for the report was collected from a variety of public sources and supplemented with research from wineries, suppliers, growers and other economic entities as well as the use of studies undertaken by industry and professional organisations.

PRWCA represents wineries, growers and businesses in Paso Robles wine country. It encompasses more than 26,000 vineyard acres and more than 170 wineries.

The EVC provides business resources throughout San Luis Obispo County. As the countywide economic development organisation, it provides resources to help start, expand, and attract businesses. Resources include business loans, venture capital network, seminars, site selection service and business connections.