Study shows growing impact of Washington wine industry

wine-80SEATTLE – The economic impact of wine and wine grapes in Washington shows an increase of $1.3 billion since 2009, or a compound growth rate of 8.5 percent per year, according to a study released today by Washington State Wine. The economic impact of the state’s wine industry was $4.8 billion in 2013, up from $3.5 billion in 2009.

“The demand for wine is at an all-time high in the U.S., and Washington – the second-largest premium wine producing state in the country – is poised to increase its market share,” said Steve Warner, president of Washington State Wine, the government agency that represents wineries and grape growers in the state.

In 2013, 800 wineries in Washington sold nearly $1.5 billion worth of wine. This represents an 8.7 percent compound annual growth rate, adjusted for inflation, up from $1.1 billion in 2009, the last year Washington State Wine commissioned an economic impact study. The number of wineries has increased from 650 in 2009 to 800 in 2013, or 23.1 percent total growth during that time. More new wineries opened recently, bringing the statewide total to 850 in 2015.

In 2013, an estimated 50,000 acres of wine grapes produced 210,000 tons of wine grapes, up from 156,000 tons in 2009, for a compound annual growth rate of 7.7 percent. In 2009, 36,000 acres of grapes were planted; acres planted grew by 39 percent between 2009 and 2014.

Barring major climate events, grape yield forecasts show continued growth of 5 to 9.1 percent per year through 2019, when wine grapes harvested are expected to exceed 300,000 tons.

Grapes rank sixth of all Washington crops by sales value in 2013. Looking only at fruit, grapes are third, with output by production value equal to $278.6 million, behind apples and cherries.

Total jobs supported by the wine industry reached 25,900 in 2013, up from 18,700 in 2009. The industry supported $61.9 million in state taxes in 2013, including both direct payments and those among businesses supported by wine and related activities.

Community Attributes Inc., a Seattle research and analysis firm led by Chris Mefford, prepared the report called “The Economic Impacts of Wine & Wine Grapes in Washington State.” Spencer Cohen, senior economist, led the analysis. It is the most accurate economic impact analysis of its type and has been peer-reviewed by William B. Beyers, professor emeritus from the University of Washington and one of the forefathers of economic analyses.

To view the report in its entirety, visit