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Eastern Wine Industry Economy Grows

April 2014
 
by Linda Jones McKee
 
 
Eastern wine industry
 
LANCASTER, PA.—California may have the largest number of wineries in the United States, but there are wineries in all 50 states, and the industry is expanding every year.

With a total of 319 wineries, New York has more wineries than any other state east of the Mississippi River, and it produces nearly 20.4 million cases of wine per year. Of course, 17 million of those cases are made at Canandaigua Winery, one of the largest wineries in the country.

In February, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation released the results of an economic impact study utilizing data from 2012. The new study showed that there are now 37,000 acres of grapes; winery revenue is almost $553 million, and wages paid were more than $1.14 billion. The total economic impact of the New York wine industry on the state’s economy rose from $3.76 billion in 2008 to $4.8 billion in 2012, according to the study.

Virginia has the second largest number of wineries east of the Mississippi, and it has grown from only 69 wineries in 2000 to 222 in 2014. In February 2011, then-Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the results of an economic impact study conducted in Virginia the previous year that showed the wine industry adding $747 million to the state’s economy each year. Currently Virginia wineries produce a total of 774,525 cases per year, a number Thomas Jefferson surely would be proud of.

The number of wineries in Pennsylvania, the third-largest wine-producing state in the East, has increased from 70 in 2000 to 174 today, according to Wines Vines Analytics. A study released by the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing Research Board in 2009 showed the wine industry having a total impact on Pennsylvania’s economy of more than $870 million. Given that these numbers were based on an industry with only 114 wineries, it is reasonable to project that the current impact of the industry is well north of $1 billion. Pennsylvania also has a large grape juice industry that adds to the economic impact of grapes in the state.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture reported in June 2011, that the wine industry had a total impact on the state’s economy of $580 million. The state had 60 wineries in 2000 and currently has 144 wineries. Pennsylvania produces 755,365 cases annually, and Ohio is slightly ahead with 759,980 cases.

 
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