The fiscal year of 2012 was a record-setter for Virginia wine sales.
Virginia wineries sold almost 485,000 cases of wine in 2012, up 1.6% over last year’s record high. Additionally, the Virginia Wine Marketing Office reports that Virginia wineries sold more wine out of state, directly or through a wholesale distributor, and internationally in 2012. Sales outside of Virginia, domestic and international, increased by 39%.
Export sales of Virginia wines grew by more than 300%, increasing from about 700 cases in to more than 3,300 last year. A significant portion of these international sales were driven by new sales to China and the United Kingdom.
Virginia currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation with more than 230. Virginia is also the nation’s fifth largest wine grape producer. According to a 2012 economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs more than 4,700 individuals and contributes almost $750 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis.
In addition, more than 1.6 million tourists visited Virginia wineries in 2011.