Big Economic Impact Regionally and Nationally
The Washington state wine industry’s economic impact is valued at $8.6 billion annually in the state, according to a new report from the Washington State Wine Commission.
The state’s wine industry had an economic impact of $14.9 billion nationwide in 2011 – a more than $10 billion increase from numbers in a similar 2007 study.
Comprehensive and Real Growth
The growth in economic impact results is due in part from a far more comprehensive assessment of industry suppliers conducted for the 2011 study, including farm and wine machinery suppliers, bottle producers, cork and barrel finishers, marketing and professional services, banking, transport, laboratories, distribution, tourism, retailing and restaurants.
But it’s clear that the industry in the state has grown in real terms: The number of licensed wineries in the state more than doubled to 700 from 360 since 2005. During that period, the state has grown its vineyards to more than 43,000 acres, up from 30,000.
Jobs & Tax Revenues
The wine industry supports nearly 30,000 jobs in Washington State, with wages of nearly $1.2 billion, according to the report. It also contributes to tourism, drawing more than 2.4 million wine-related tourists who spend nearly $1.1 billion in the state, the study found.
The industry generates more than $237 million each year in state tax revenues.
King County was the biggest generator of Washington wine-related funds, with an economic impact of more than $3.3 billion annually. Other county economic impacts numbers include Benton County ($927 million annually), Yakima County ($527 million annually), and Walla Walla County ($502 million annually).
Washington state ranks second in the nation, after California, in the value of wine grape production and wine grapes are the third most valuable fruit crop in Washington State, after apples and cherries.