The World’s Wine Markets

The World’s Wine Markets

Globalization at Work

Edited by Kym Anderson

This absorbing book examines the period of massive structural adjustment taking place in the wine industry. For many centuries wine was very much a European product. While that is still the case today – three-quarters of world wine production, consumption and trade involve Europe and most of the rest involves just a handful of New World countries settled by Europeans – the importance of exports from non-European countries has risen dramatically over the past decade.

Chapter 10: North America

Daniel A. Sumner, Helene Bombrun and Julian M. Alston

Subjects: economics and finance, industrial economics, international economics


Daniel A. Sumner, Helene Bombrun, Julian M. Alston and Dale Heien The wine industry in the USA and Canada is new by Old World standards but old by New World standards. The industry has had several rebirths, so specifying its age depends on the purpose of the investigation. In the colonial and post-colonial period up through the middle of the nineteenth century, it was a relatively tiny industry with imports accounting for almost all of the still meager consumption of quality wine in the region (Winkler et al., 1962). There was gradual development in the latter half of the nineteenth century, but wine production in the USA and Canada only began to develop significantly with the expansion of the California industry early in the twentieth century (Carosso, 1951; Hutchinson, 1969). Then the industry needed to be recreated after the prohibition era from 1920 to 1932. More recently, in a sense, the industry was reborn again thirty or so years ago with an aggressive movement towards higher quality. The geography of the industry is relatively simple. Despite some wine and wine grape production in Canada and most states in the USA, California is the location of more than 90 per cent of grape crush and about 85 per cent of the wine production in North America (Wine Institute, 2002). Therefore, most of the discussion of grape and wine production in this chapter focuses on California, while the discussion of demand and policy issues covers all of the USA and Canada. The...

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