North Carolina wine and grape industry grows to $1.97 billion
It is posting a 15 percent increase since the last study was conducted two years ago.
The total economic impact of the industry now is $1.97 billion.
The study was commissioned by the N.C. Wine and Grape Growers Council and conducted by Frank, Rimerman + Co. using data from 2016.
The firm also conducted the council’s 2009, 2013 and 2015 economic impact studies.
The most significant change in the reports is the increase in wine production. Since 2013, North Carolina wineries have produced 96 percent more cases of wine, from 569,000 nine-liter cases to 1,115,000 cases.
The state also saw increases of more than 40 percent in wages paid to employees, retail value of wine sold, and taxes paid to federal, state and local governments.
The majority of N.C. wineries rely on sales at their tasting rooms or direct sales to restaurants and retail stores.
As such, tourism is a significant part of revenue for many of the state’s wineries.
In 2016, an estimated 1.9 million people visited N.C. wineries.
Increased tourism was responsible for a 47 percent increase in tourism jobs from 2013 to 2016. ■