Apart from vegetable and fruit farming, the American state of California has also been known for its vast vineyards spread along the state. These vineyards in turn have been producing one of the finest wines in the world. The state likewise is not the only wine producer in the country. Wine is produced all throughout the different states in the country. However, the total output last year of California’s vineyards comprised of about 90% of the total United States output of wine (Weiss, 2005). With this, according to the Wine Institute of California, the annual value of the Californian wine industry gives $51.8 billion dollars to the Californian state government and about $125.3 billion to the entire US economy. This makes the wine industry in California as one of the drivers for growth in the state. Likewise, California wine has also been regarded as one of the most important agricultural product export of the state.
The wine production activities in California have significantly produced a favourable share in the economy over the years. According to the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), the wine industry is responsible for creating 875,000 jobs in the United States and an ample source of economic activity in the region. Significantly though, the industry provides $10.1 billion in gross wages of all the workers. Most of these workers are migrant workers from Mexico and the Philippines who are hired mainly for most of the labour work in the vineyards. Part of these wages are then remitted to back to their mother countries to support the families they left there. These workers tend to the vineyards with a vast area of 500,000 acres. These vineyards are spread throughout the state with major concentration in the middle part of the state. This as vineyards in California extends from the southern international border with Mexico up to the state line dividing California and Oregon (Weiss, 2005). The federal government also rakes in $3.2 billion worth of wine industry taxes as well as other taxes from other forms such as license, real estate taxes, and business taxes. This makes California one of the biggest producers by volume of wine in the world.
The California wine industry also has added to the appeal of the state in the international market. One of the claims to fame of the Californian wines is the appeal of the product to the market as a luxury product (Sullivan, 1998). First of all, the wines from California bank on from the common notion that all things made in the state are consumed by famous celebrities. So the middle income market is attracted into buying the wines themselves for they think that wines are a symbol of social status. Second, the wines in the state have been attested to quality and environment-friendliness in terms of production. Local vineyards in the state such as Testarossa Vineyards in the Monterey County claims to be the first one in the local industry to produce Chardonnay obtained from Michael Michaud of the famed Michaud Vineyard. Third, the vineyards of California which produces wines have also been significantly valuable in the local tourism industry. This occurs as tourists both local and foreign flock the vineyard regions for a glimpse of how California wines are made to Winegrape picking activities or just for wine tasting sessions in the cellars of the said vineyards. Annually, close to 20 million which generates about a couple of billion US dollars in additional revenues (Leffingwell, 2002).
California wines are then exported to other states in the US and to other foreign markets. The wine outputs are also exported to other countries such as Japan, France, the United Kingdom and other European and Asian countries. California wines are currently considered as the third most preferred wines after the French, Italian, and Spanish wines (Peninou, 2000).
With all these factors, the Californian wine industry indeed is one agricultural output in the state of California which has a lot of valuable significance to the US economy. Development and sustenance of the industry therefore is important.
Leffingwell, R. (2002). California wine country : the most beautiful wineries, vineyards, and destinations. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press.
Peninou, E. P., & Unzelman, G. G. (2000). The California Wine Association and its member wineries, 1894-1920. Santa Rosa, CA: Nomis Press.
Sullivan, C. L. (1998). A companion to California wine : an encyclopedia of wine and winemaking from the mission period to the present. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Weiss, M. (2005). A very good year : the journey of a California wine from vine to table. New York: Gotham Books.