The Grapevine

Wine Industry News – Wine Labeling Fight Heats Up, Exports Rise

February 25th, 2013

Shanken News Daily reports that U.S. wine exports were up 2.6% last year according to the Wine Institute. California continues to account for around 90% of exports. [level-members]

Europe continues to be the U.S.’s biggest export market, with Canada a close second. Overall numbers in individual Asian countries are smaller, but the growth is trending sharply upward. The Wine Institute says growth is being spurred by its global campaign touting California as an “aspirational place,” which is reaching 25 countries. Something tells me the wine-savvy folks in Italy, France and Spain don’t necessarily think of California wine as “aspirational” but we haven’t seen the campaign. Could be trading on the glamour of Hollywood and buzz of technology innovation in Silicon Valley. tells us (via a wine Spectator online article) that there’s growing concern – again – about labeling and the spectre of over-regulation. Interestingly, there are areas where giants like Diageo are in favor of putting more information on labels to satisfy consumer desires. That’s a different story than we’re used to hearing where consumer advocacy groups want more disclosure and the manufacturers in whatever industry want to keep potentially unflattering information under wraps.

We’d love to see labeling more consistent with other food and beverage products. We all benefit when wine becomes less a “sin” product and more a part of everyday life. [/level-members]