U.S. wine exports reached a new record of $1.39 billion in revenues in 2011, according to the California-based Wine Institute.
Wineries saw an increase of 21.7 percent in export revenues compared to 2010. About 90 percent of the exported wine came from California.
Sales of California wine within the U.S. grew as well. California wineries a record 211.9 million cases, up 5.6 percent in volume compared to the previous year.
“California’s vintners grew the wine market with creative, innovative offerings at all price points,” said Wine Institute President and CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch. “Our wineries are in sync with consumer tastes and California wines have increasingly become a preferred lifestyle choice.”
Chardonnay remained the most popular wine in the U.S. with 21 percent of the market share. Cabernet Sauvignon was the second most popular wine in 2011, with 12 percent market share.
Merlot had 10 percent market share, Pinot Grigio/Gris had 8 percent market share, and White Zinfandel had 7 percent market share.
Muscat/Moscato jumped up to nearly a 4 percent market share in 2011.
“Wine consumers are adventuresome by nature so Muscat/Moscato became a popular new flavor to try, experiencing the largest varietal volume gain of the year,” commented Danny Brager, vice president of client services for beverage alcohol at The Nielsen Company.