Results of a new economic study commissioned by Washington State’s wine industry puts the value of the wine industry at $8.6 billion annually in the state and $14.9 billion annually in the United States. The findings in the report, the most comprehensive to date, show a substantial increase from a similar study done in 2007 that valued the industry at $3 billion in-state and $4.7 billion for the nation.
Licensed wineries in the state have grown from 360 in 2005 to more than 700 and growers have added more than 13,000 acres of wine grapes during this time. The most recent acreage survey, released last year, pegs the state wine grape acreage at 43,000 acres, up from 30,000 acres in 2005.
Washington Wine Commission executive director Steve Warner said in a statement, “This report shows that Washington State wine is a vibrant and thriving contributor to the regional and national economies.”
The study found that the industry supports about 30,000 jobs in the state and more than 70,000 jobs nationally, with wages of nearly $1.2 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively. Of importance to local and the state economy, the industry generates more than $237 million in annual tax revenue and pays nearly $1.4 billion in taxes across the country.
And for the first time, the study provides a snapshot of the industry’s economic impact at the county level. King County, which surrounds Seattle, has the largest concentration of wine related activity—more than $3.3 billion annually. Other county totals include Benton ($927 million annually), Yakima ($527 million annually), and Walla Walla ($502 million annually).
The complete study, conducted by Stonebridge Research based in St. Helens, California, can be found at: www.washingtonwine.org.