The California wine industry accounts for nearly $33 billion of the state's $1 trillion economy each year, according to an independent study commissioned by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers.
The $33 billion figure was arrived at by tabulating all revenues, taxes and wages generated by the production and distribution of wine.
The study shows that there are approximately 145,000 full-time wine-affiliated jobs across California, and that these positions provide a total of $4.3 billion in gross wages.
If California were an independent nation, it would be the fourth largest producer of wine worldwide, just behind France, Italy and Spain, according to the study. The state's wine business accounts for about $12.3 billion in retail sales throughout the United States. It also generates over $3 billion in taxes and business licensing fees, as well as approximately $1.2 billion in tourism revenue.
"The report should be considered a milestone in the increasing acknowledgment of the role and value of the California wine community," said John De Luca, president of the Wine Institute, a San Francisco-based advocacy organization.
The study was commissioned to help the industry respond to its many critics, said Gladys Horiuchi, spokeswoman for the Wine Institute. "We have opponents who target us for punitive sin taxes and distribution and labeling restrictions," she said. "This report provides factual evidence that can help us create more support in shaping public policy, and it shows that we're not just a 'manufacturer of booze,' but also a huge employer that already pays its taxes."