Sales of Virginia wine have reached an all-time high this year, increasing over five percent than 2012, Governor Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday.
Virginia wineries sold over 511,000 cases of wine in FY13 versus almost 485,000, the previous record high, in FY12 according to newly available sales figures compiled by the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) and the Virginia Wine Marketing Office.
Sales of Virginia wine have increased more than 23 percent since 2010.
“At the beginning of my administration, I pledged to work with the Virginia wine industry to make the Commonwealth the East Coast capital for wine and wine tourism. Today’s announcement is further proof that we’re well on our way to reaching that goal. Sales have reached a new record high and tourism to our wineries continues to grow. With the outstanding product being produced by our grape growers and wine makers, it’s no surprise that more and more people are buying Virginia wines and experiencing our wineries and vineyards. I’m pleased our administration’s focus on promoting Virginia wines and wine tourism both here and abroad is helping the Commonwealth’s wine industry to grow and expand. From serving only Virginia wines at the Executive Mansion to marketing them during all domestic and international trade missions, we have taken every step possible to help create new sales and generate more jobs and economic opportunities all across the Commonwealth,” McDonnell said from Chatham Vineyards.
International sales of Virginia wines grew more than 74 percent this year with more than 5,800 cases being sold.
Sales also increased both in and out of state while sales at the wineries themselves are up six percent, indicating increased interest tourism to Virginia wineries.
Virginia currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation with more than 230. Virginia is also tied with Texas as the nation’s fifth largest wine grape producing states. 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, a record high, visited Virginia wineries in 2011.