Wine Production in the United States


No matter what your favorite wine might happen to be, it’s likely that it comes from California.  That’s because California has been the dominant state in the U.S. for wine production for as long as anyone can remember.

According to the most recent statistics, nearly 90% of all wine production in the United States comes from the state of California.  It’s no secret that there are almost countless vineyards in California, with many of them producing some of the best wine around.

However, even though California is and probably always will be the biggest wine producer in the country, there are some other states that have started to up their game recently.

Washington

Washington State is the next biggest producer of wine, which is understandable considering it is also a West Coast state.  However, while California produces 89% of the country’s wine, Washington only produces 4%.

New York

New York is interesting because its wine production has actually grown significantly over the last few years.  While it still only produces 3% of the country’s wine, this number is slowly but surely growing larger.

Last year, New York produced about 12 million cases of wine, which is nothing compared to California, but it is slowly creeping up on the state of Washington.

Honorable Mentions

Oregon and Texas are the fourth and fifth largest producers of wine, respectively.  Last year, they each produced roughly 1% of the wine in the United States.

Overall Numbers

The entire United States produces about 350 million cases of wine each year, with California producing well over 300 million of them.

Why California?

There are many reasons why California produces so much wine.  Obviously, the climate throughout the state is generally perfect for wine production. This plus the state’s vast amount of superb agricultural land are two big reasons why it has been a booming industry in the state for a very long time.

There are other states that do have adequate climates, but none of them has had the booming industry of California. The only real competition for California is wine that is produced overseas.  As a marketing response to imported wines, the term “fighting varietals” was coined in order to encourage consumers to buy domestic wines, most of which are produced in California.

The Bottom of the List

At the very bottom of the list of wine producers in the U.S. is Alabama, which produces roughly 0.004% of the country’s wine on an annual basis.

Why Buy Domestic?

Whether you want a domestic wine or an import is largely going to be based upon your personal preference, but many wine connoisseurs prefer to buy California wines because they have some of the highest quality vineyards in the world, and because buying domestic wine does benefit the American economy.

With the way that the regulations are set up and because of the success of California wine production, it is unlikely that any wine production either in another state or abroad will ever quite catch up to the production of wine by California.