US wine export volumes fell 15% in 2009 according to California’s Wine Institute which blamed the fall on the global recession and the highly competitive UK market. Shipments were down 14.9% to 417.9m litres which saw a 9.5% reduction in revenue to US$911.8m.
Exports to the European Union slumped by 22% to US$380m with many producers electing to ship wines in bulk and bottle locally to save money, Decanter reported.
On the bright side for US vintners, sales during the fourth quarter of 2009 rose 16%. “The California wine industry was not immune to the global recession, but fared better than most wine-producing countries,” California Wine Institute President and CEO Bobby Koch said.