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 Biggest American Wine Producers 
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Post Biggest American Wine Producers
Biggest American Wine Producers
by: Ronald Senn

My wife and I had several guests over for dinner the other night. We enjoyed a great meal and later we sat on our patio with a glass of our favorite after dinner wine. My guests know of my current pastime of blogging. They began to tease me about how I learned enough about wine and related topics to write about them. My answer was simple “I conduct extensive research on the web to gather information for my articles and Blog posts.” One of my guests said, “If you know so much, who is the biggest producer of wine in the United States?”. I said, “I do not know, but you have given me an idea for my next article”. After everyone left, I immediately went to research an answer to the question.

Wine production in the United States has been going on for well over 400 years. Every state in the union has some wine production actively occurring. The states of California and Washington are the undisputed leaders in American wine production. California can brag that 90 percent of all wine consumed in the country is produced in that state. As it turns out, the U.S. is the fourth leading wine producer in the world with France, Italy and Spain taking the top three ranking spots.

I reviewed several sources to discover who the top U.S. wine producers are. All the sources I found had the same top four listed, but there were some differences in the “Top Ten” list after that. Near as I could tell, the lists represented data compiled during different years, which may be the primary factor that caused the lists to vary. Based on 2004 information, the top producer of wine in the country produces 300 percent more that the second producer on the list. The next two top producers produce over 200 percent more than the fifth highest wine producer does.

The largest producer of wine in the U.S. is E. & J. Gallo. In 2010, this privately owned wine company is celebrating its 77th birthday. This company has annual revenues of $1.7 billion, employs around 5000 people, has an annual American sales volume of 66 million cases and sells wine in more than 90 countries. The company founded by the Gallo brothers still has many second and third generation family members with roles in the business (source: Wine Business Monthly, Review of the Industry: The Top 30 U.S. Wine Company Profiles, February 15, 2008).

Constellation Brands is the second leading producer of wine in the U.S. Annual American sales volume is 59 million cases with another 53 million cases sold on the world market outside the U.S. The strength of Constellation Brands is its widely diversified portfolio of wineries and brands. In the United States, Constellation Brands employs about 3,200 people of which 500 previously worked for Beam Wine Estates of Jim Beam Whiskey fame. This company is the leading seller of wine in Canada and lays claim to be the biggest producer of “premium wines” in the U.S.

The number three producer, The Wine Group is a San Francisco based company that has an annual sales volume of 44 million cases. It once was a part of The Coca-Cola Company. Bronco Wine Company is the number four producer with a U.S. sales volume of 20 million cases. Foster’s Wine Estates with a U.S. sales volume of 20 million cases holds the fifth position.

While it is interesting to understand who the top wine producers are, there are great numbers of lesser companies that produce great wines. It still boils down in the end to what wine suits your palette. As I always say, buy the wine you like, store it properly in a wine cooler, serve it at the proper temperature and enjoy it immensely.

About The Author
Ronald Senn is currently Vice-president of Ideal Wine Coolers. Ron served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970. Ron graduated from the University of Arizona with BS and MS Degrees. Ron is retired from the U.S. Forest Service after serving over 30 years.

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Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:31 pm
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