Napa County 'worth $50bn to US' says new report

  • Friday 30 November 2012

Napa County's wine industry accounts for one out of every three dollars spent on wine in the US, and may be worth more than US$50bn to the US economy, a comprehensive new report says.

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Wine in the county – not just in the Napa Valley appellation – generates US$1bn in tourism revenue, and generates US$84m annually in charitable contributions, and it directly and indirectly provides 46,000 jobs, out of a population of 136,000.

Napa County wines account for one in five bottles of wine produced in California, while Napa Valley appellation wines account for 3% of California wines.

The statistics are detailed in The Economic Impact of Napa County’s Wine and Grapes, prepared for Napa Valley Vintners by the Stonebridge Research Group. The document draws on resources such as National Agricultural Statistics Services (NASS), federal and state excise tax data, and interviews with some of the 789 wineries in Napa County, and their distributors.

The impact of the valley’s wine industry is demonstrated by the fact that wine produced in Napa County represents 17.5% of all wine produced in the US but accounts for 31% of its value. About one out of every three dollars spent on wine sold in the US, is on Napa County wine.

The Napa Valley appellation accounts for 3% of total US wine but almost 17% of the value of all sales of wine in the US.

The total retail value of all the wine produced in Napa County, domestically and exported, is estimated to have totalled US$10.1bn in 2011, while the retail value of Napa Valley appellation wines is estimated at US$5.5bn.

In 2011, the report estimates, Napa’s wine industry had a total economic impact of more than US$13bn on Napa County’s economy, US$26bn on the California economy, and US$50bn on the American economy.

Such calculations are arrived at by a certain amount of extrapolation, the report makes clear.

For example, Stonebridge estimates that Napa County indirectly generates US$3.06bn annually in the US , that is ‘in industries that supply goods and services … [eg] purchases of electricity and gasoline by wineries or of janitorial services by wine bottle manufacturers.’

It also calculates ‘induced effects’, that is, ‘spending in grocery and retail stores, medical offices, insurance companies, internet providers, and other non-wine related industries by workers in industries allied to the wine industry – such as the spending by the janitor working under contract to the wine industry supplier.’

Stonebridge calculates that US$3.9bn was spent in 2011 in the US in such ‘tertiary exchanges’.

NVV executive director Linda Reiff said, ‘The Napa wine industry is healthy and thriving, fueling our local and national economies even in these uncertain times.’

No similar figures are available at present for Sonoma Valley.

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