Richmond, VA - Governor Bob McDonnell announced Monday that sales of Virginia wine reached an all-time high in fiscal year 2012, increasing by just over 1.6 percent from fiscal year 2011.
Virginia wineries sold almost 485,000 cases of wine in 2012 versus a little more than 477,000 during the previous record high year in 2011.
Sales of Virginia wines have averaged just over 8 percent growth per year over the last three fiscal years.
"I'm incredibly pleased to see that Virginia has set a new all-time high in wine sales. We faced some real weather obstacles last year, but that didn't stop Virginia's wine industry from continuing to grow and expand. More and more individuals continue to buy Virginia wine, and more and more new jobs continue to be created because of that." said Governor McDonnell.
The Virginia Wine Marketing Office reports that Virginia wineries sold more wine out of state, directly or through a wholesale distributor, and internationally during 2012. Sales outside of Virginia, domestic and international, increased by 39 percent from 2011 to 2012.
"This growth is a testament to our grape growers and winemakers, who are producing world-class wines, which I been pleased to help promoted here and around the world. More sales provide more economic development and job creation opportunities, especially for the vineyards, wineries, and the many businesses supporting them, like restaurants and bed-and-breakfast establishments, all across the Commonwealth," Governor McDonnell continued.
Virginia currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation with more than 230. Virginia is also the nation's fifth largest wine grape producer.
According to a 2012 economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs more than 4,700 people and contributes almost $750 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis.
The Commonwealth estimates that more than 1.6 million tourists visited Virginia wineries in 2011.
For more information about the Virginia wine industry, visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office's website at www.virginiawine.org or call 804-344-8200.