Virginia wine sales increased by over 1.6% in 2012, compared to the previous year, an all-time record. Virginia wineries sold almost 485,000 cases of wine in fiscal year 2012, according to statistics released from the governor's office. In 2011 they sold 477,000 cases of wine, which itself was the previous record high.
Even more impressive, perhaps, export sales of Virginia wines grew by more than 300% during the period, increasing from about 700 cases in fiscal year 2011 to more than 3,300 cases in 2012.
Two export markets where sales increased significantly, were new sales to China and the United Kingdom. That news had to put a smile on Gov. Bob McDonnell's face, since these two countries are areas where the McDonnell administration has focused global marketing and export growth plans.
The governor's office noted the first commercial sales of Virginia wines to mainland China were completed in 2012, while the sale of Virginia wines to London, the world's largest wine import market, continued to grow during the year.
"I'm incredibly pleased to see that Virginia has set a new all-time high in wine sales," said McDonnell. "We faced some real weather obstacles last year, but that didn't stop Virginia's wine industry from continuing to grow and expand. More and more individuals continue to buy Virginia wine, and more and more new jobs continue to be created because of that. This growth is a testament to our grape growers and winemakers, who are producing world-class wines, which I have been pleased to help promote here and around the world. More sales provide more economic development and job creation opportunities, especially for the vineyards, wineries, and the many businesses supporting them, like restaurants and bed-and-breakfast establishments, all across the Commonwealth."
Sales of Virginia wines have averaged 8% growth per year over the last three fiscal years. Sales of wine outside of Virginia, domestic and international, increased 39% from FY11 to FY12.