September Is California Wine Month

Governor Jerry Brown has proclaimed September 2011 as California Wine Month.  There are some interesting stats in the proclamation.

“Our state’s wineries create jobs for 330,000 Californians and revenue from retail sales of $18.4 billion, including $1.14 billion in exports sales to 122 countries…and bring an estimated 20.7 million tourist…each year”

This post from NorCal Wine Blog entitled “How Big is the California Wine Industry”  gives those stats some interesting context;

Those numbers sound pretty good. But, in the abstract, it’s hard to really understand their significance. I’ve tried to put the numbers into perspective by comparing them to others.

Compare retail sales of $18.4 billion to:

  • The entire GDP of Paraguay: $18.5 billion
  • 2010 U.S. movie box office revenue: $10.6 billion

Compare 330,000 jobs to:

  • The total combined employees of AdobeAmazonAppleeBayGoogleIntelMicrosoft andYahoo!: 326,500
  • The population of St. Louis, Missouri: 319,294

Compare 20.7 million tourists to:

  • The combined populations of New York state (19.4 million) and New Hampshire (1.3 million)
  • The combined populations of Belgium (10.9 million) and Sweden (9.4 million)
  • Total 2007 visitors to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida: 17 million
  • Total 2010 attendance for NFL games: 16.4 million
  • Total airline passengers served by San Francisco International Airport: 18.5 million

The proclamation has been an annual event the last seven years, generally timed to coincide with the start of the grape harvest season (2011 will mostly be an exception due to all the cool weather we’ve had this year).  There will various special events, tastings, tours, etc. throughout the month (Click here for a list of events).  And what better way to start the month than #Cabernet Day on September 1st.  After all, it was Cabernet (1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars) that put California on the wine map at the legendary Judgment of Paris in 1976!

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