California Winegrape Industry
California Winegrape Industry's Impact on the Economy
California is the No. 1 wine producer in the nation and the No. 4 wine producer in the world behind Italy, France and Spain. Nearly 6,000 winegrape growers produce more than 110 varieties in California's 138 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Winegrapes are grown on 608,000 acres in 49 of 58 counties. CAWG is proud to represent an industry that provides significant and beneficial contributions to California's economy. The wine and winegrape sector employs 325,000 Californians, generates $57.6 billion in annual economic activity, pays $7.6 billion in taxes annually, pays $17.2 billion in wages annually, and attracts more than 23 million tourists to wineries annually. In addition, vineyards and wineries positively enhance communities through charitable contributions and environmental stewardship.
CAWG's Role for the California Winegrape Industry
As the voice of California's winegrape industry, CAWG serves a unique role as the only statewide organization that is focused specifically on advocating for all California winegrape growers. CAWG helps to ensure the implementation of sound public policies through its vigilance and action on state and federal legislation, advancement of sustainable farming practices, and promotion of education and research to enhance the California winegrape industry.
CAWG keeps a close watch on the development and adoption of regulatory issues, and when necessary, will engage with state agencies and departments to protect winegrape growers from burdensome rules and regulations. Since 1974, CAWG has been involved in numerous state and federal issues and initiatives: advocating for improvements in immigration and labor laws, increased funding for viticulture research and pest management, availability of federal crop insurance for grapes, development and promotion of sustainable farming practices, and the elimination of trade barriers.
CAWG and the American Society for Viticulture and Enology (ASEV) are co-sponsors of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, the largest industry meeting in the Western Hemisphere. Built with the input of growers, vintners and allied industry members, the symposium serves as an annual clearinghouse of information important to wine and grape industry professionals. The event, which also hosts the industry's largest trade show of its kind, attracts 14,000 attendees from all over the world.
CAWG is also actively involved with the state's broader agricultural industry, representing its members by participating in various industry events, committees and coalitions.