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Virginia wine sales see boost

Sales of Virginia wine in fiscal year 2010 increased nearly 13 percent from 2009, according to numbers released today by the state.

Total sales of Virginia wine amounted to $1,604,387 in wine liter tax collections during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, whereas the total wine liter tax collected by the state derived from the sale of Virginia wine in FY2009 amounted to $1,428,216.

“The increase in the sale of Virginia wine is good news for our grape growers and wine makers, both of whom are responsible for producing the outstanding wines that Virginia is now being recognized for both here and abroad,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said. “The growth of the wine industry in Virginia means more jobs for our citizens and needed economic development in our communities, particularly in the rural areas of the Commonwealth. The increase in sales also means more funds will be dedicated to wine grape education and research and wine marketing initiatives that will help the Virginia wine industry continue to grow, and lead to more jobs being created in the years ahead.”

According to figures from the most recent economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs approximately 3,000 people and contributes almost $350 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis. The study reflected the impact of 120 wineries in 2005; today, there are nearly 180 licensed farm wineries in the state. In recent years, Virginia has become a nationwide leader in wine and is now fifth in the nation both for wine production and number of wineries. The governor has declared October Virginia Wine Month and encourages Virginians to support this thriving agricultural sector by visiting a winery or purchasing Virginia wine through their local restaurants, grocers and specialty shops.

The wine liter tax is applied at a rate of $3.60 per case of wine. The tax collection report is issued annually in a letter from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the House Appropriations Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Virginia Wine Board.

For more information about the Virginia wine industry, please visit or contact the Virginia Wine Marketing Office at 804.344.8200.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

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augusta free press