The U.S. surpassed France as the world’s largest wine-consuming nation in 2010, with wine shipments to the U.S. from California, other states and foreign producers growing 2% from the previous year to nearly 330 million cases, a record high for the industry, according to wine industry consultants Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates in Woodside.
The estimated retail value of these sales was $30 billion, up 4% from 2009. Total French consumption was 320.6 million cases in 2010. California wine accounted for a 61% volume share of the total U.S. wine market with sales at 199.6 million cases, up 1% from the previous year. Retail value was $18.5 billion.
California’s total wine shipments worldwide to all markets in the U.S. and abroad (including exports) were 241.8 million cases, up 2% from the previous year. “U.S. wine market conditions remain highly competitive, but we are optimistic that this growth trend will continue. Americans are increasingly interested in a lifestyle with wine and food, demonstrated by the presence of wineries in all 50 states and 17 consecutive years of growth in U.S. wine consumption,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute.