“The UK is a tough market at the moment, with the consumer assailed by increases in direct and indirect taxation.  Under these difficult circumstances, the significant upturn for California is a remarkable achievement for the industry,” said John McLaren, Wine Institute Trade Director for the United Kingdom.

"While developing wine markets, such as Poland and Russia, continue to do well for us, we have also seen growth in more established markets.  For example, California was up 11 percent in Sweden in the fourth quarter of 2010 and in Holland, our business grew 25 percent in the first six months of 2010, the highest of all other importing wine regions in that country,” said Paul Molleman, Wine Institute’s Trade Director for Continental Europe.

“In Japan, while we show a decline in exports, closer analysis indicates that the value of bottled California exports increased significantly which offset a decrease in bulk wine exports.  Stimulated by a weak U.S. dollar against the yen, Japanese importers continue to show a good appetite for California wines,” reported Wine Institute Trade Director in Japan, Ken-ichi Hori.

“The situation in the emerging wine markets improved in 2010.  Most markets returned to growth and prospects for the future are very positive across the region.  Individually, Hong Kong strengthened its position as the world’s third largest export market by value, growing nearly 150 percent compared to 2009.  Although the rate of growth of wine exports to China slowed last year, we exported an additional $9.6 million to China in 2010.  China continues to represent a significant opportunity for California wines as interest in our wines continues to spread out from the major hubs of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou," commented Eric Pope, Wine Institute’s Regional Director, Emerging Markets.

Since 1985, Wine Institute has served as the administrator of the Market Access Program, an export promotion program managed by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.