Washington wine is wine produced from grape varieties grown in Washington, USA. Washington ranks second in the US when it comes to wine production. Last 2017, the state had over 55,000 acres of vineyards, a harvest of 229,000 short tons of grapes, and exports going to over 40 countries around the world from the 940+ wineries located in the state.
The future for the Washington wine industry remains bright, but some situations are coming in the near term that could lessen future prospects, according to Chris Bitter, a wine economist at Vintage Economics.
Wine consumption generally has slowed, which has resulted in excess supply on a global basis.
2 Key Points. First, Washington is heavily reliant on one company for that growth. Second, the state is heavily dependent on out-of-state demand. Out-of-state shipments represented 85 percent of that gain over the time period.
In 2017, total Washington shipments declined 5 percent, a sharp reversal from the annualized 7 percent increase of the previous six years.
In 2018, shipments were up 3 percent — still 250,000 cases below the 2016 peak, so Washington has plateaued, he said. In addition, Washington is seeing a bifurcation of its industry between its biggest player and the rest of the industry.
The overall economic outlook for 2019 is for a modest slowdown — a moderating economy, not a recession, though experts say a recession is coming, he said. With trade war, political gridlock in the U.S. and a slowing global economy, the risks are clearly to the downside.
According to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, packaged wine shipments grew 50 percent, or 4.2 million cases, from 2010 to 2016. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates accounted for 2.6 million cases.