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Record California and United States wine sales reported

Record California and United States wine sales reported
A view of one of the vineyards at Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery in Santa Barbara County.
(David Langford / Associated Press)

Wine sales in the United States, including California vintages, reached a record high last year, jumping 2%  compared with 2011.

Sales totaled 360.1 million cases with an estimated retail value of $34.6 billion, according to the Wine Institute, a San Francisco trade group.

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Sales of California wines accounted for 58% of the U.S. business. The Golden State shipped 250.2 million  9-liter cases, worth $22 billion, to U.S. and foreign customers.

“The U.S. is the largest wine market in the world, with 19 consecutive years of volume growth,” Wine Institute President Robert P. Koch said.

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U.S. wine exports in 2012 hit $1.43 billion, up 2.6% from the previous year. Ninety percent of U.S. exports came from California. The top destinations were the European Union, Canada and Hong Kong.

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