U.S. Wine Sales Break Record

Chardonnay is still king, capturing 21% of all wine sales. Next popular varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon (12%), Merlot (9%), and Pinot Grigio/Gris (8%).

A scene from Premiere Napa Valley, an annual trade action: Bruce Cakebread pours a 2010 Vaca Range Blend.
A scene from Premiere Napa Valley, an annual trade auction: Bruce Cakebread pours a 2010 Vaca Range Blend.
A scene from Premiere Napa Valley, an annual trade auction: Bruce Cakebread pours a 2010 Vaca Range Blend.

Americans like wine. In 2012, the total retail value of wine sold in this country hit $34.6 billion (360 9-liter cases), a new record, and up 5.2% year over year. That figure includes table wine (315 9-liter cases), dessert wine (27), and sparkling wine (18).

California still leads the way. Two out of every three bottles sold were sourced from a California operation. In 2012, however, shipments from the State was down slightly, falling just under 4% of the total shipped to the U.S. market.

Varietals are always interesting to track – they can reveal changing consumer preferences, and new trends.

2012 Wine Sales

According to the report by Woodside-based Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates, Chardonnay is still king, capturing 21% of all wine sales. Next popular varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon (12%), Merlot (9%), and Pinot Grigio/Gris (8%).

ALSO: Inside the Premiere Napa Valley Mega Wine Auction (Video)

Both Muscat and Malbec showed significant gains.

In terms of U.S. wine exports, at $485 million, the European Union and its 27-member countries led all buyers, followed by Canada ($434 million), Hong Kong ($115 million) and Japan ($111 million).

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