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U.S. Wine exports up 25% over ’09

on 03/03/11 at 10:15 am


U.S. wine exports reached a record $1.14 billion last year, a 25.6 percent jump over 2009, an industry group reported.

Much of the income poured into the Modesto area’s large wineries, which ship their low- and midpriced products to dozens of countries.

“The economy is recovering around the world, and that’s matched up with some of the new brands we have launched the last couple of years,” Chris Indelicato, chief executive officer at DFV Wines near Manteca, said Wednesday.

The company, formerly Delicato Family Vineyards, sells bottles mainly in the $5 to $10 range. Its brands include Gnarly Head, Twisted, Irony, 337 and Brazin.

Other major players are E.&J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, Bronco Wine Co. near Ceres and The Wine Group near Ripon. Together, they employ several thousand people, whose paychecks ripple out in a local economy still reeling from the housing downturn and related troubles.

The export report came from the Wine Institute in San Francisco. It represents California producers, which account for 90 percent of the nation’s wine exports.

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