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Virginia wine sees record sales in 2012

Virginia wineries sold almost 485,000 cases of wine in 2012 versus a little more than 477,000 in 2011, also a record high. This is an increase of 1.6%.

The Virginia Wine Marketing Office reports that Virginia wineries sold more wine out of state (directly or through a wholesale distributor) and internationally in 2012, showing an increase of 39%. Sales of Virginia wines have averaged just over 8 percent growth per year over the last three fiscal years. This is great news, because it shows we are expanding beyond our own borders and becoming part of the larger world of wine.

Leading states buying VA wine include Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Florida as well as Washington, D.C., one of the Virginia Wine Marketing Office’s top strategic growth regions.

“Virginia probably still has some room to grow in terms of acreage planted to vines and production, and certainly quality improvements continue to impress,” Washington Post wine columnist Dave McIntyre writes on DMwineline. “Hopefully this growth and the maturity it represents have put Virginia wine on firm soil, with a gentle but steady upward slope.”

The Virginia Wine Marketing Board reports that the Old Dominion currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation with more than 230. Virginia is also the nation’s fifth largest wine grape producer.

According to a 2012 economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs more than 4,700 individuals and contributes almost $750 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis. In addition, more than 1.6 million tourists visited Virginia wineries in 2011.