US wine exports set record as California drought persists

news  %tages US wine exports set record as California drought persists
Exports of wine from the US jumped by 16% last year, show official facts that offer a boost to California's winemakers facing their worst drought in memory.

US wine exports, of which California represents 90%, jumped by 16.4% in 2013 to reach a confirmation $1.55bn, representing the fourth year of consecutive progression. In number terms, exports rose by 7.5% to 48.4m nine-litre suitcases, driven by stronger demand from the European Union, Canada, Mexico and China.That means California now exports a fifth of its wine annually on average, said Robert Koch, president of the California-based Wine Institute, which released the facts.'We are on footstep to reach our goal of $2bn in exports by 2020,' he said, highlighting the large and much-anticipated 2012 and 2013 California vintages subdue to be released.Some producers may come to need the extra number as concerns grow about the ramifications of a severe drought across the so-called sunshine state. '2014 is going to be a smaller harvest because of the drought' said Maryann Bautovich, managing director of Vin-de-Cal International, which represents several Napa Valley wineries seeking listings abroad. 'In Napa we're in a slightly better position, but Healdsburg only has about one month [of water] left,' she told at the Enotria merchant wine tasting in London this week.Rain has been forecast in several parts of California over the next few days, offering hope of some respite.Randall Grahm, chief winemaker at Bonny Doon near Santa Cruz, tweeted on Monday, 'The fact that rain (and lots of it) is forecast for before long this week is the best thing I've read in forever.

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