Our Wineries and Economic Recovery

Feb 02, 2015

Our Wineries and Economic Recovery

From the desk of:
Kenneth Harwood 
Economist
Solvang Chamber of Commerce

  Six north Santa Barbara County wineries produced 35,000 or more cases of 12 bottles of wine in each case in 2009 and 2013. The four year period saw much of national economic recovery from the Great Recession of December, 2007, to June, 2009. Here are these wineries' production records in the economic recovery.
  These wineries in 2013 seemed to form two distinct groups. The larger output included Cambria and Bridlewood, while the smaller included all others.
  Median number of cases produced rose from 52,500 cases in 2009 to 63,500 in 2013, or 21%. A winery in this group of six raised production by about one fifth on average, paced by Bridlewood. Bridlewood had the advantage of being owned by E. and J. Gallo, the second largest producer in the nation.
  Three of the six raised production, while production was smaller in the other three, and most notably smaller in Firestone. Larger producers typically buy more grapes from other growers.
  Zaca Mesa and Qupe were the smallest of the six, each producing 14% more cases in 2013 than 2009.
  Santa Barbara County counted 263 wineries recently, of which these six were among the larger ones.
  Smaller wineries market through their tasting rooms and wine clubs, by selling to consumers directly. Larger wineries are more able to sell to consumers through distributors.
  California wineries in 2012 numbered 3,754 of nation's 8,806, or 43% of the total. California wineries originated about 90% of all wine production in the U. S. Larger producers tended to be in California.
  See Pacific Coast Business Times Book of Lists 2011, and the same publication of 2015 for data on larger wineries in San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County. Data of 2009 were assembled in June, 2010, and updated in December. Data of 2013 were completed in June, 2014. Some large wineries did not participate. Fess Parker Winery became Fespar Enterprises LLC. U. S. Treasury Department, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, listed online as of January 11, 2015, permits issued to producers and blenders of wine in California by county. Go online to Wine Institute for numbers of wineries and volume of wine production in California and the United States.

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