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Two in three US bottles sold from California

As US wine sales reached a record levels last year, two out of every three bottles of wine sold in the country are Californian, a new report says.

The report, compiled by industry consultant Jon Fredrikson, shows that Californian wine shipments to both US and foreign markets reached 532m gallons in 2005 compared to 521m in 2004. In total, California’s wine sales made US$16.5bn (£9.4bn) in 2005.

The region’s wines now represent 63% of the entire US wine market, equivalent to almost two of every three bottles sold in the country.

This growth is attributed to several factors including the May 2005 US Supreme Court decision to allow direct-to-consumer sales, the rising popularity of affordable, consumer-friendly wines and the popularity of the film Sideways, which had a huge impact on the sales of Californian Pinot Noir.

Premium wines, considered to be those priced at US$7 (£4) and above, grew by 13% last year and accounted for two thirds of sales.

Chardonnay is the top-selling varietal, followed by Merlot, White Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Written by Emmet Cole

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