U.S. wine exports set new record

U.S. wine exports reached $1.43 billion in winery revenues in 2012, setting a new record, according to the San Francisco-based Wine Institute.

That's up 2.6 percent compared to 2011 and represents a gain for the third consecutive year. Volume shipments reached 424.6 million liters or 47.2 million cases.

According to the Wine Institute, 90 percent of the wine is from California. Of the top markets for California Wines, the European Union's 27-member countries are the largest accounting for $485 million, up 1.7 percent.

"California wine exports continue to increase because of our quality, diversity and value, despite a highly competitive global market, significant trade barriers and a still recovering economy," Wine Institute President and CEO Bobby Koch said in a statement. "We've worked to create more opportunities to export our wines by supporting our government in opening markets with Free Trade Agreements and other negotiations."

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