The US Wine Industry
Among countries, the United States is the world’s fourth largest producer of wine and the largest consumer and importer. The industry is located primarily on the US west coast, and California alone accounts for four-fifths of production. It is a diverse industry in terms of the varieties grown, farm size, yield, fruit attributes and price, and ultimately value of the wine produced, attributes that have a strong relationship with the geographic location of production. The current complex taxation structure and peculiar “three-tier” wine marketing and distribution system owe much to the legacy of Prohibition. Effectively, each state is a separate entity, and they can differ significantly in their regulations and taxes applicable to wine marketing and distribution, performed by an increasingly concentrated industry. These features may be daunting to some suppliers. Nonetheless, growth in population and per capita demand continue to drive changes in production, markets, and imports in this vibrant sector of the US economy.
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