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The wine industry is an important part of California’s history, growth, and wild characters.  The Napa Valley was there at the very beginning.  Wine making has been an industry for so long that is part of many of California’s residents’ lives.

Imagine this:  If California were a country, which is what it seems like in many ways, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer.  (The others are, in this order, Italy, France and Spain.)  California’s wine industry turned out 620 million gallons of wine in 2008.  The Wine Industry Assn. tells us that number represents more than 90% of all the wine made in the United States.  Wow!  Those numbers mean that California’s wine industry is worth about $18 billion in sales.  But, the people who come to visit the wineries—particularly in the largest area of visitors, Napa—also bring money to the state.  (Where the heck is that money going?  Well, another question for another article that has nothing to do with us, thankfully…)

This sounds amazing, but it’s true: almost 20 million people visit California’s wineries every year. Obviously, the hotel industry is happy about that!  (Also, there are many small wineries where the wine can only be purchased on site.)  Plus, the wine industry creates about 300,000 jobs in the state.  Isn’t it wonderful that wine, which brings such joy to meals and gatherings, also creates jobs?

When you take everything into consideration, the wine industry is a boon to wine country, particularly Napa and Sonoma.  In 2008, winemaking in California brought more than $60 billion to the state, and the impact on the U.S. economy was worth more than $120 billion.

Our recommendation?  Go out there and get the economy going.  Buy wine!  Visit wineries.  Enjoy the Napa Valley Vineyards and those in Sonoma County.  After all, it’s the patriotic thing to do!