Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pennsylvania study: Impact of industry has risen 31 percent over the last three years

What better time than Regional Wine Week for the state of Pennsylvania to tout the findings of a study commissioned by the state's Wine Marketing Research Board (PWMRB), which found that the total impact of the wine industry at ore than $870 million in 2007. That's the last year that data was available.

The last such study was done three years ago, which found an impact of $661 million based on the figures from 2005. This year's results represent a 31 percent increase. Economic impact is measured in total revenue from tourism, wine sales, taxes, and employee wages.

According to a release from the Pennsylvania Winery Association, wine production is also up by more than 13 percent over 2005 totals with 920,000 gallons produced in 2007. That ranks the state seventh among the country's top wine makers. The Commonwealth was previously ranked eighth in wine production.

The study confirmed that Pennsylvania’s wineries are growing in number – from 104 wineries in 2005 to 114 wineries in 2007 – but it also showed an increase in winery output. Although 71 wineries are classified as small, producing less than 5,000 gallons annually, the number of wineries producing 20,000 or more gallons has doubled since 2005 to include 14 wineries throughout the state. Though these larger wineries represent just 12 percent of the Pennsylvania winery industry, their production represents 59 percent of the state’s total wine output.

Here are a few other facts:

* Pennsylvania’s grape juice industry, fueled by the 140-plus vineyards that serve the wine industry, has an impact on the state economy totaling $1.48 billion.

* In 2007, the Pennsylvania wine industry contributed $252.5 million in taxes to the state and collected $179.6 million in tourism expenditures.

* Wine, winegrapes and related industries account for 5,286 jobs in Pennsylvania, with an associated payroll in excess of $210 million.

Tourism and Pennsylvania winery income is expected to rise in 2009 as the PWA continues to work with the Pennsylvania Office of Tourism on a marketing campaign designed to boost tourism to state wineries and wine trails.

I'll add that no one from the association is ready to say just how much the state will fund its planned activities in 2010. That figure is expected to be released in the next few weeks as more becomes known on the specificis of the recently passed state budget.

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