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Media Contact: Christopher Taranto
Phone: 805-239-8463
Website: http://

Industry reaches a tipping point to position itself as premium

For Immediate Release

For More Information:
Christopher Taranto, PRWCA
(805) 239-8463
Mike Manchak, EVC
(805) 788-2013

PASO ROBLES, Calif. (March 2, 2007) – The Paso Robles AVA and Greater San Luis Obispo County Wine and Wine Grape industries have an annual impact of $1.566 billion estimated on the state and local economy according to preliminary data released by the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC) of San Luis Obispo County and the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. The two organizations along with 10 private businesses and public partners commissioned the wine business consulting firm, MKF Research LLC, to prepare the region’s first ever study based on 2006 data.

The wine and wine grape industry is California’s number one finished agricultural product and is the largest crop in the county. Still young in its development the Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo wine regions have tripled in size over the past decade with 217 bonded wineries and 29,000 vineyard acres countywide. This accelerated growth ranks Paso Robles and Greater San Luis Obispo third in the state.

"As part of the California wine $51.8 billion economic impact Paso Robles and Greater San Luis Obispo wine and wine grape industries are important to the health of the family farm, preserving the land and contributing to a lifestyle so many have come to enjoy," said Stacie Jacob, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.

Jobs and Retail Value
Employing more than 6,364 full-time people, the wine industry contributes more than $61.55 million in state and local taxes. The retail value of Paso Robles AVA wine is $657 million or 86% of the Greater San Luis Obispo County wine retail value at $763.4 million. The average 750 ml bottle of Paso Robles AVA wine retails for $12-15 and is the most attractive category on the retail shelf, which A.C. Nielson data indicates is increasingly the focus of the U.S. wine market.

"Increasing the overall retail value has tremendous potential in this region," said Barbara Insel, Managing Director of MKF Research LLC. "Currently 58% of the grapes from Paso Robles leave the county and go into Central Coast or California appellation wines, which typically sell for less than $12 per 750 ml bottle. Focusing on building the reputation of the Paso Robles AVA brand and the wines made from these grapes will position them for more competitive price points."
Page 2/Economic Impact

Insel further explains that building brands and strengthening the region’s identity has significant economic potential for Paso Robles to compete to a greater degree in the global market place. New jobs will need to be created with marketing and science based expertise in winemaking and viticulture to help this region reach its fullest potential.

Wine Tourism
Wine tourism is now a key economic driver for local tourism. Wine tourism expenditures are $96.5 million annually attracting 1.1 million visitors to Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County.

"Wine tourism is an import economic driver for the local economy with potential to grow," said Michael Manchak, EVC President and CEO. "Recent studies indicate the wine tourist seeks an experience and visits the area with the intent to buy wine, dine out, shop downtown and stay in our region."

The wine and wine grape economic impact report is the first of a series the EVC plans to conduct for developing a county-wide economic strategy. MKF researchers are still determining the impact of allied industries, total size and value of the crop and charitable contributions of the local industry. This information will be part of the final economic number for the region.

"The study not only reinforces the industry growth and its size as single largest contributor to the economy it helps industry and community leaders understand its full economic potential," said Justin Baldwin, owner of Justin Vineyard & Winery and member of Board of Directors for the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "The stronger the regional brand the more potential to keep profit margins for the industry local."

Funding for the study comes from a group of private businesses and public partners — Pacific Gas & Electric, Edna Valley Vineyard, City of Paso Robles, The Gas Company, Mid-State Bank & Trust, Paragon Vineyard, City of San Luis Obispo, City of Atascadero, Talley Vineyard, Country Supervisor Harry Ovitt and County Supervisor Jim Patterson.

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, represents wineries, growers and businesses in Paso Robles Wine Country. Centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, along California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles Wine Country is California’s fastest growing wine region. It encompasses more than 26,000 vineyard acres and more than 170 wineries. For more information, visit

The Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC) provides business resources throughout San Luis Obispo County. As the countywide economic development organization, the EVC provides resources to help start, expand, and attract businesses. Resources include business loans, venture capital network, seminars, site selection service, business connections and more. The EVC stimulates the local economy by helping to create jobs and increase investment into the community.

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