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Study finds wine industry has $747 million impact in Virginia

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A study of Virginia’s wine industry released Thursday finds that it contributes $747 million annually to the state economy.

That number is more than double the $362 million in economic impact found in a previous study of the state wine industry in 2005.

The 2010 “Economic Impact Study of Wine and Wine Grapes on the Commonwealth of Virginia” was completed by Frank, Rimmerman + Co., an accounting and consulting firm that specializes in the wine industry. The study, commissioned by the Virginia Wine Board, was completed in January 2011.

The study found that the number of wineries in Virginia rose 49 percent, from 129 in 2005 to 193 in 2010.  The number of full-time equivalent jobs at wineries and vineyards increased 50 percent from 3,162 to 4,753, while wages at wineries and vineyards increased 86 percent, from $84 million to $156 million, during the same period. 

The study also highlights the effect tourism is having on the wine industry. The number of wine-related tourists visiting Virginia increased from 1 million in 2005 to 1.62 million in 2010, a rise of 62 percent.  Spending related to winery tourism also was up,  from $57 million in 2005 to $131 million in 2010, a 130 percent increase.

The amount of taxes paid to the state and to local governments by the wine industry grew from $21 million to $43 million, a 105 percent increase.



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