Between 200 and 400 new wineries open in the United States every year, according to the latest figures.
The quantity of licensed wineries in the US has zoomed 105% since 1995, federal figures show.
In nine years, the number has leaped from 1,817 to 3,726. Two years ago, the number was 3,182.
The figures, compiled by the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, were analysed by WineAmerica, the Washington-based trade association of wineries.
‘Local wineries exist in all 50 states,’ said WineAmerica president David Sloane, ‘and for the first time the majority of America’s winemakers – 55% – are located in states other than California,’ although California ‘continues to experience strong growth.’
Wineries are being established ‘at a rate of 200-400 per year, an annual growth rate of 10 to 15%,’ Sloane said.
California’s industry has jumped from 944 wineries in 1995 to 1,689. Second-place Washington went from 95 to 323. Third-place Oregon rose from 113 to 228. New York, fourth, jumped from 125 to 203. Virginia, fifth, from 46 to 97.
Ohio has 100 wineries; Pennsylvania, 99; Texas, 91; Michigan, 90, Missouri, 67. Delaware has 1; Alaska, 6.
America’s movement, as Sloane put it, ‘toward establishing a unique and diverse wine culture,’ may hinge on a Michigan case the Supreme Court hears on 7 December. The central issue is ‘whether states that allow local wineries to ship directly to consumers have the right to prohibit out-of-state wineries from doing the same.’
Some states ‘with the greatest consumer demand for wine are closed to direct shipments from out-of-state wineries, including New York (third largest market), Florida (second), Texas (fourth), New Jersey (fifth), Massachusetts (sixth), Ohio (12th) and Michigan (11th),’ Sloane said.
Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York