BUSINESS

U.S. wine exports uncork record revenue for fourth straight year

SACRAMENTO -- Wine exports from the United States, mainly from California, generated a record high revenue of $1.55 billion in 2013, the Wine Institute reported.

It was the fourth record in a row for foreign sales when ranked by value, the San Francisco trade group said.

Total sales, 90% from California wineries, were up 16.4% over 2012.

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"Consumers across the globe continue to recognize the quality, diversity and value of California wines, despite significant trade barriers and heavily subsidized foreign competitors," said Wine Institute President Robert P. Koch.

Exports, he said, were on track to surpass $2 billion by 2020, he said.

Although domestic sales represent California's biggest market, foreign sales are growing in importance, Koch said. The biggest customers for California wine makers are the European Union, followed by Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and China.

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