Despite a challenging market environment coupled with a strong dollar, California wines showed impressive growth in several key markets last year. Japan, South Korea and Mexico were standout performers, with growth rates of 28%, 18% and 25%, respectively. The European Union and its 27 member states saw strong performance with growth rates of over 8%. Those four large regions represent more than 30% of the global market share and have become increasingly important for California wineries.
Japan, South Korea and Mexico combined increased by $43 million in value. Total U.S. wine exports to the 27 EU member states increased by $16 million in value, with strong growth in Sweden and Denmark contributing to the overall strength of the European market.
Total U.S. wine exports in 2022 reached $1.463 billion,a slight increase of 0.4% in value from the previous year.
Strong performance in key markets has helped offset declines in other regions, such as the UK and Canada, and demonstrates the growing popularity of California wines. Consumers are increasingly focused on higher value wines, and California wines have seen growth in both value and volume in key export markets.
"California wines continue to perform around the world, and we are especially encouraged by recent growth in Southeast Asia, Mexico and the EU,” said Bobby Koch, Wine Institute president/CEO. “With the hard work of large and small wine producers we continue to penetrate global markets even as we face challenges from a strong U.S. dollar and retaliatory tariffs.”
Notably, Mexico has seen a remarkable 29% growth in volume to accompany its 25% value growth, with several factors driving this expansion. Recovery from the pandemic, particularly in the on-premise sector, and the growing popularity of wine in the retail sector are among the key drivers behind this growth.
“At events such as ProWein and our annual tastings in Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul we saw record-high attendance and a 30% in trade visitors,” said Honore Comfort, Wine Institute vice president of international marketing. “These impressive figures are a clear indication of the strength and potential of the California wine industry and with continued growth in key markets, there is no doubt that California wines will remain a top choice for wine drinkers around the world.”
Wine Institute compiles its report with information from Trade Data Monitor and the U.S. Department of Commerce.