California's wine industry contributes around US$103bn to the country's economy each year, according to a report released today (8 December).

The Wine Institute, a trade body that represents 95% of California's wine output, released the findings with the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG).

The study, prepared by wine consultants MKF Research, was designed to highlight the economic importance of the Californian wine industry to the US economy.

"Despite trade barriers, agricultural pests and the threat of increased taxes and regulations, the state's wine industry is clearly an asset to the economic vitality of California and the US," said Wine Institute president and CEO Bobby Koch.

California is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world after France, Italy and Spain, producing 225m cases in 2005.

The report said that the national impact of the Californian wine industry was felt because nearly three-quarters of the state's wine was sold outside California, leading to jobs for retailers, shippers and distributors.