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Wine’s value to New York state? $4 billion

The New York grape, grape juice and wine industries contributed over $3.76 billion in economic benefits to the economy of New York State in 2008, according to a study conducted by the Napa Valley-based Stonebridge Research Group.

This is an increase of over 10 % from the $3.4 billion documented in a 2004 study, also conducted by Barbara Insel, currently president and CEO of Stonebridge.

The new study also shows that out-of-state wines sold in New York contributed an additional $3.26 billion, for a total economic benefit to the state of $7.02 billion from the grape and wine industries. Data for the study came from various federal and state government agencies, private sources, and primary research conducted by Stonebridge.

The figures for 2008 are a conservative indication of the current economic impact, since new wineries have opened in 2009 that were not included in this study (the total in on December 31 was 277); and anecdotal reports suggest that tourism and sales again increased in 2009.

Highlights of the study include:

• 39,000 full-time equivalent jobs (versus 36,000 in 2004), including 17,000 from the New York sector and 22,000 from out-of-state wines
• $1.5 billion in wages paid (vs. $1.3 billion), with $802 million from the New York sector, $770 million from out-of-state wines
• $508 million New York winery sales (vs. $420 million)
• $1.9 billion sales of other wines in New York (vs. $1.7 billion)
• $36.5 million of New York grape sales (vs. $30 million)
• 37 thousand grape bearing acres (vs. 31,000)
• $32.7 million of grape juice product revenues (vs. $27 million)
• $376.5 million in wine-related tourism expenditures (vs. $312 million)
• 4.98 million wine related tourists (vs. 4.14 million)
• 1,438 grape farms (vs. 1384)
• $455 million in State and local taxes paid (vs. $427 million), including $230 million from the New York sector and $225 million from out-of-state wines
• Charitable contributions $8.6 million

"The grape and wine industry is an economic engine, and wine is the ultimate value-added product," said Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, which commissioned the 2004 and 2008 studies. "For years, the wine industry has been the fastest growing part of New York's two largest economic sectors of agriculture and tourism, and now we have solid data on the enormous economic benefits we generate."

Other aspects of the industry in New York include:
• The number of new wineries in the 2000 decade exceeded the total created in the previous 170 years, with many in non-traditional regions of the state.
• Tourist visits to New York wineries in 2008 approached 5 million, up 21% from 2003, despite record high gas prices and a recession.
• 124 wineries made investments during 2006-2008 averaging nearly $400,000.
• Commercial wineries paid an average of $1,788,300 in federal and state taxes (excise and sales), with farm wineries averaging $34,600.

Report James Graham


1 January 2010 - Felicity Murray