A study shows that Washington State wine industry has grown but still lags behind Californias

A study shows that Washington State wine industry has grown but still lags behind California's

The Washington wine industry has more than tripled in value in the past four years, a new study has revealed.

The research, commissioned by the Washington State Wine Commission, said that, between 2010 and 2011, the industry was worth US$14.9bn nationwide, an increase of 317% compared to a similar study in 2007. The industry's value to Washington State was US$8.9bn in the two-year period, a rise of 286% compared to 2007.

“This report shows that the future is indeed very bright for Washington State as one of the marquee premium wine growing regions of the world,” said Ted Baseler, CEO of Ste Michelle Wine Estates, the largest producer in the state.

However, the report shows that Washington was still a long way behind California in total wine grape production. 

In 2010, California grew 92% of the grapes in the US. Washington was the country's second-largest grower with 0.4% of production, or 160,000 tonnes, a record high for the state. New York was third with 0.12%.

According to the report, the number of licensed wineries in Washington has doubled from 360 in 2005 to around 700 last year.

The state also added around 13,000 acres of vineyards, to 43,000 acres, over the same period.

The study found the industry supports nearly 30,000 jobs in Washington State and in the region of 70,000 jobs nationally, with wages of wages of nearly $1.2b and around $2.8bn, respectively.

The study was conducted by Stonebridge Research.