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2007-08-06
Media Contact: Christopher Taranto
Phone: 805-239-8463
Website: http://

WINE AND WINE GRAPE INDUSTRY IN PASO ROBLES AND SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY HAS $1.8 BILLION IMPACT
Potential Growth Could Raise the Impact to $3.2 Billion

PASO ROBLES, Calif. (August 6, 2007) – The Paso Robles AVA and Greater San Luis Obispo County Wine and Wine Grape industries have an annual economic impact of $1.8 billion on the state and local economy and employs more than 8,000 according to a completed study released by the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC) of San Luis Obispo County and the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. This newly completed study by MKF Research confirms and revises preliminary data released in March 2007.

"The County’s first-ever study of this kind effectively benchmarks the economic impact of an industry that is so well threaded into the fabric of our community," said Stacie Jacob, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. "This report also looks at the potential to build more Paso Robles AVA brands, suggesting a near doubling of the industry’s economic impact."

The report recognized how currently 58% of the wine grape crop is sold outside the county, whereas a majority of that crop originates in Paso Robles at 26,000 acres. Wine grapes leaving the area primarily go into California and Central Coast labeled wine programs, which do not carry the Paso Robles AVA designation. The opportunity is to grow the production of Paso Robles AVA wine with locally based brands and facilities. Translating the 58% of wine grapes into wine would mean an additional 3.6 million cases, which would increase the county’s share of California’s wine production from 2.9% to 7.5%. These grapes are likely positioned for the $12-$20 per bottle price category, which is the strongest segment in today’s global wine market. Developing more Paso Robles AVA brands returns higher income to growers, increases winery profits and raises tax revenues. Capturing this added value for San Luis Obispo County boosts the economic impact by $1.4B.

"Realizing the growth potential for additional Paso Robles brands with the existing acreage is an even greater reason to strengthen the regional brand," said Jacob. "The study confirms how greater brand awareness could provide a significant economic return to the region."

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 in terms of wineries, below Sonoma and Napa respectively. The California wine industry as a whole has a $51.8B economic impact on the State of California.

"This study is an invaluable tool to the continued economic vitality and competitive future of the County," said Michael Manchak, President and CEO of the Economic Vitality Corporation. "The data reported details important employment statistics and moreover suggests the need of a more highly skilled labor force as the wine industry matures." By capturing more Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo AVA brands, an additional 5,600 skilled jobs in marketing, sales, management, finance and science could be attained increasing the industry’s employment by more than 30%.

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. 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 wine industry study based on 2006 data. Data for the report was collected from a variety of public sources and supplemented with research from wineries, suppliers, growers and other economic entities as well as the use of studies undertaken by industry and professional organizations.

The Economic Impact of Wine and Wine grapes in the Paso Robles AVA and Greater San Luis Obispo County 2007 report is available for sale by contacting the Economic Vitality Corporation, www.sloevc.org. A study summary is available on the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Web site, www.pasowine.com. Please visit the Economic Impact Study section in www.pasowine.com for Highlights from the completed summary. Please direct questions to Christopher Taranto, Communications Manager at the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance at 805.239.8463 or ctaranto@pasowine.com.

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 www.pasowine.com

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