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US wine exports set new record in 2012

Ninety percent of the wine the United States exports is from California. Above, a Napa Valley vineyard.


Ninety percent of the wine the United States exports is from California. Above, a Napa Valley vineyard.

SAN FRANCISCO — US wine exports grew for the third consecutive year in 2012, setting a record of $1.43 billion in revenue, the Wine Institute said Thursday.

Ninety percent of those exports were from California. Shipments reached 112.2 million cases.

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The European Union remained the top market for California wines, accounting for about 34 percent of sales. Sales in China reached $74 million in 2012, up 18 percent from the previous year. South Korea, at $16 million, was up 26 percent. And Vietnam, at $27 million, was up 22 percent.

Exports to Mexico also grew for a second consecutive year, to $20 million, an amount that was double the 2009 figure. In Canada, the second-largest market for California wines, sales reached $434 million, up 14 percent.

The increase came despite a highly competitive global market, significant trade barriers, and a recovering economy, said the institute’s president, Robert P. Koch.

The institute promotes California wines through a video campaign, website, and social media campaigns around the globe.

‘‘We’ve seen a big demand,’’ said David Gates, vice president at Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino.

‘‘And as demand has picked up, we pushed a little harder into the more developing markets, the biggest one being China.’’

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