Washington wine industry is just becoming stronger. A new study launched last month by Stonebridge Research of St. Helena (California) reveals just how shiny is the WA wine industry.
The research requested by Washington State Wine Commission, a wine marketing group created and financed by member grape-growers and vintners, reveals that Washington wine industry leads to $8.6 billion yearly to the state economy and nearly 30,000 wine jobs.
That's almost three times more from 2006 when similar study has been done.
The commission executive director, Steve Warner, said the results show that Washington wine industry is a profitable and successful factor to the local and nationwide financial systems.
The WA wine sector's yearly participation to the nationwide economic climate is $15 million, according to the research.
Washington is the second largest wine producer in U.S. with 739 licensed wineries and 350 vineyards behind California, which is No.1 producer and has an economic impact of $61.5 billion to the state and close to $122 billion nationwide, according to 2011 study. The number of planted wine grapes in Washington has grown to more than 43,000 acres.
At the same time WA Gov. Chris Gregoire cheers the state success by signing a bill that included $5 million toward a Wine Science Center in Richland on the top of $ 10 million already raised through wine industry and private donations.
At the same time she said in interview that California wine industry produces a "jug wines" and WA winemakers is only producing premium wines.
The WA wineries produced 11.2 million cases of wine in 2010 and produces more than $237 million in yearly tax revenues in Washington, according to the study.
The research also revealed that direct winery income lead to $1 billion in 2010 and that the wine industry produced nearly $1.2 billion job wages within the state.
According to the research Washington wineries gain up to 2.4 million visits a year. The wine tourism is becoming an important part of Washington tourism portfolio.
The study also shows that 33 of Washington’s 39 counties have at least one winery and those wineries donate $5.5 million to charities each year.
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