The wine industry didn’t just weather the pandemic. It grew.
October 20, 2022
The Washington Post
What’s wine worth? To us as individuals, wine’s value is personal. It may be a dinner drink for every day, or once a week, with a price appropriate to the meal. Or perhaps it’s a splurge for special occasions, a bottle cradled in a closet until the night is right. For some, wine is an investment in both money and ego, part of the good life, a sign of personal accomplishment. Prices may vary.
But what’s wine worth to the U.S. economy? A new study released in September by Wine America, a winery trade organization, estimates wine’s economic impact this year will be about $276 billion dollars. That includes direct impact from production and sale of wine, indirect impact of the industry’s suppliers (bottles, labels, equipment, etc.) and the “induced impact” of all those wages being spent throughout the economy.
The study, by John Dunham & Associates, is an imperfect snapshot of American wine in 2022, because there isn’t reliable data to work with. Even a basic figure such as the number of acres planted to wine grapes has to be estimated from a number of disparate sources. The U.S. Department of Agriculture stopped tracking vineyard acreage years ago because of budget cuts, and state marketing studies such as Virginia’s often rely on voluntary participation by wineries. The 10,637 “wine producers” may somewhat overstate the number of wineries, as those with multiple facilities will be counted more than once. And there’s an obvious boosterism in the study — the authors apparently had a keyboard shortcut to insert the phrase “ultimate value-added product” every few paragraphs.
Caveats aside, the study gives a fascinating glimpse of how the wine industry has weathered the storm of the pandemic. A similar study in 2017 clocked wine’s economic impact at $220 billion. Continued growth even through the pandemic “illustrates the health of the industry,” says Michael Kaiser, Wine America’s executive vice president…To contine reading this article, please visit the Washington Post.