Californian wine companies have been urged to push the 'California message'.

The state's Wine Institute is encouraging its members to convey a stronger message connecting California's wines to the positive impressions that Americans have of the state.

At US market development workshops held by the Wine Institute this week, research was revealed that suggested focusing on the state's scenery, lifestyle, food culture and ideas would prove effective at upping the profile of Californian wines domestically.

"We are asking wineries to always begin their wine conversations with a few words about what makes California a special place to grow and make wine," said chairman of the Wine Institute market development task force, Tom Klein.

"Calling attention to the favourable image of California and California wine further develops the US market for our members and supports Wine Institute's public policy mission," added Robert Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute.

"California as a place and California wines as an experience strongly resonate with the American consumer," said Barbara Insel, managing director at MKF Research and principal consultant on the research. "We need to leverage the unique regions, creativity, ingenuity and break-the-rules approach to life that epitomises our industry and link it to our wines."

The research was based on a survey of 2,442 US wine consumers, commissioned to help strengthen California's position in the US market and further enhance the competitiveness of California wineries.