California wineries lost about US$75m in revenue as a result of the events of September 11th, according to industry experts said yesterday.

Speaking at the first "State of the Wine Industry" conference, Vic Motto said the impact represents about 1% of total 2001 winery revenue of US$6.5 billion.

Preliminary estimates from conference organisers MKF indicate that total winery revenues for 2001 were up about 3% from 2000. Case volume growth was flat overall, with significant differences in growth rate by price category.

Wines priced under US$8 retail were down 3%. Mid-priced wines ($8-$15) were up 7% and high-priced wines ($15 and above) were up 13%. The full analysis will be available in a Wine Trends report released April 15, 2002.

Christian Miller, director of research for MKF, noted that basic demographic trends favouring sales of mid to high-priced wines are still present. "We are looking for overall winery revenues to continue to grow in 2002", said Miller.

"In addition, the US wine consumer is trading up, spending an additional 3% per bottle on wine in 2001," he added.

MKF is a leading firm of wine business advisors, providing business consulting, industry research and CPA services to the wine industry.