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New Study Shows Growing Economic Impact for Washington State’s Wine Industry

Sales revenue, grape acreage, number of wineries all in an upswing since 2009

September 9, 2015

WSW Red Label Logo (Preferred)SEATTLE, Wash. – Wine sales and production in Washington State are growing, reports a new study released by Washington State Wine. The study details the economic and fiscal impacts of wine and wine grapes in Washington State and measures the effect of jobs, labor income and business revenues directly supported by wine and related activities such as tourism. Results show an increase in total state economic impact of $1.3 billion since 2009, or a compound annual growth rate of 8.5 percent per year. The total economic impact of the Washington State wine industry was $4.8 billion in 2013, up from $3.5 billion in 2009.

“We’re thrilled to share these findings,” said Steve Warner, president of Washington State Wine, the government agency that represents all wineries and grape growers in Washington State. “They offer an exciting and accurate depiction of the rapid rate at which our industry continues to grow. The demand for wine is at an all-time high in the U.S., and Washington – the second-largest premium wine producing state in the country – is poised to increase its market share.”

Wine Production

In 2013, 800 wineries in Washington sold nearly $1.5 billion worth of wine. This represents an 8.7 percent compound annual growth rate, adjusted for inflation, up from $1.1 billion in 2009, the last year Washington State Wine commissioned an economic impact study. The number of wineries has increased from 650 in 2009 to 800 in 2013, or 23.1 percent total growth during that time. More new wineries opened recently, bringing the statewide total to 850 in 2015.

Grape Growing

In 2013, an estimated 50,000 acres of wine grapes produced 210,000 tons of fruit, up from 156,000 tons in 2009, for a compound annual growth rate of 7.7 percent. In 2009, 36,000 acres of grapes were planted; acres planted grew by 39 percent between 2009 and 2014. Barring major climate events, grape yield forecasts show continued growth of 5 to 9.1 percent per year through 2019, when wine grapes harvested are expected to exceed 300,000 tons.2012-Snipes-Merlot-Komm (10)

Grapes ranked sixth of all Washington State crops by sales value in 2013. Looking only at fruit, grapes are third, with output by production value equal to $278.6 million, behind apples and cherries.

Job Creation

Total jobs supported by the wine industry reached 25,900 in 2013, up from 18,700 in 2009. The industry contributed $61.9 million in state taxes in 2013, including both direct payments and that of businesses supported by wine and related activities.

Report Preparation

Community Attributes Inc., a Seattle research and analysis firm led by Chris Mefford, prepared the report called “The Economic Impacts of Wine & Wine Grapes in Washington State.” Spencer Cohen, senior economist, led the analysis. It is the most accurate economic impact analysis of its type and has been peer-reviewed by Dr. William B. Beyers, professor emeritus from the University of Washington and one of the forefathers of economic analyses. The peer review process is a common academic process for publications.

View the report in its entirety.

About Washington State Wine

Washington State Wine represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSW provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness of the Washington State wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSW is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit


Michaela Baltasar, Communications Director, (206) 326-5752,