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NorCal Wine Blog

California Wine by the Numbers

For the eighth consecutive year, September has been declared California Wine Month. So, bypass Bordeaux and Burgundy, relegate the Rhones and mosey on past the Mosel. Drink CA in September. Or, if that’s your typical drinking pattern, you can feel smug for 30 days.


California Wine by the Numbers

  • 1769 – The year wine grapes were first planted in California (by the Spanish at Mission San Diego de Alcala)
  • 3,364 – The number of bonded wineries in California (as of 2010)
  • 115 – The number of officially designated AVAs in California 
  • 253 – The number of total acres in the country’s smallest AVA, Cole Ranch in Mendocino County. Esterlina is the AVA’s sole vineyard owner and winery.
  • 4,000,000 – The total acres encompassed by California’s largest AVA, the Central Coast, which stretches about 250 miles and includes both San Francisco and Santa Barbara County.
  • 256,600,000 – The number of cases of California wine sold worldwide in 2011. 83% of those sales were domestic.
  • 5.6 – Percentage growth of case sales in 2011 over the previous year.
  • 19,900,000,000 – The estimated retail dollar value of California’s 2011 domestic wine sales


Learn More about California’s Wines and AVAs

Despite California’s importance in the global wine market and the high quality of much of the wine, it remains underserved most wine schools and certifying bodies. San Francisco Wine School offers the world’s only certification in California wine regions. The California Wine Appellation Specialist program, for which I am an instructor, is a seven-class series. Past graduates have included avid consumers, Master Sommeliers, winery personnel and members of the trade. The next course begins on September 5. Enroll or get more information here.


Statistics: California Wine Institute

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This article is original to Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.