California Wines Achieve Domestic, Global Sales Growth in 2014

The California wine market continues to flourish.

According to The Wine Institute, California wine shipments in the U.S. totaled 225 million cases in 2014, up 4.4% from the previous year, with an estimated retail value of $24.6 billion, up 6.7%.

California wine sales to all markets, both domestic and international, increased 3.7% by volume to 269 million cases in 2014.

Stats at a Glance

  • California wine sales in the U.S. grew 6.7% in value and 4.4% in volume in 2014
  • Estimated retail value of 2014 California wine sales in the U.S. was $24.6 billion
  • Total California wine sales (in U.S. and exports) grew 3.7 percent in volume
  • 2014 represents the 22nd consecutive year of growth for all wine sales in the U.S.
  • The U.S. has been the world’s largest wine market since 2010

Value-priced wines made up 75% of California table wine volume in 2014, according to The Wine Institute, while premium wines accounted for 25% of wine volume, but almost half (47%) of winery revenues.

Because of the consumer transition to higher value wines, dollar sales grew faster than purchase volumes in 2014, according to Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights into consumer preferences and purchases. In U.S. food stores, total wine volume sales grew 1% while total revenues increased 4%.

“The number of brick and mortar retail outlets once again increased this year,” said Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area. “And many outlets have developed sophisticated websites to support the marketing and sales of its wines.”

According to Nielsen, in measured U.S. off-premise channels, the most popular wine types by volume were Chardonnay (19% share), Cabernet Sauvignon (13%), Red Blends/Sweet Reds (10%), Pinot Grigio (9%) Merlot (8%), followed by Moscato (6%), Pinot Noir (5%), White Zinfandel (5%), and Sauvignon Blanc (4%).

Red blends accounted for the strongest volume gains, along with Moscato, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The U.S. Wine Market
Wine shipments to the U.S. from all production sources—California, other states and foreign producers— grew 1% to 375 million cases with an estimated retail value of $37.6 billion, according to The Wine Institute. This represents 22 consecutive years of volume growth. The U.S. has been the largest wine consuming nation in the world since 2010. California’s 225 million cases shipped within the U.S. in 2014 represent a 60% share of the U.S. wine market.

Sparkling Wine and Champagne
Shipments of sparkling wine and champagne to the U.S. reached 19.7 million cases in 2014, up 8% over the previous year, according to data from The Wine Institute. The sparkling wine and champagne category has grown with the overall U.S. wine market, returning to peak sales levels of three decades ago.

U.S. Wine Exports
U.S. wine exports, 90 percent from California, reached $1.5 billion in winery revenues in 2014, according to The Wine Institute. Volume shipments were 443 million liters or 49.3 million cases. The European Union was the top destination for U.S. wine exports, accounting for $518 million; followed by Canada, $487 million; Japan, $101 million; China, $71 million; Hong Kong, $69 million; Mexico, $24 million; South Korea, $22 million.

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