And now, a few short items related to California wine.
Home winemakers, get ready to compete again
California hosts a thriving home winemaker scene, but one of its most popular competitions has been MIA since 2012. However, the California State Fair Home Wine Competition returns in May. At its height, the competition judged 1,200 wines submitted by amateur winemakers across the state, but was shelved due to budget constraints, venue conflicts and other factors.
Judging for the competition will be held May 10 at Cal Expo, with the competition now overseen by Davis home winemakers Tom and Rebecca Ramme. This competition has become a kind of proving grounds for amateurs before they make the leap into commercially bonded wineries.
For more information about competing, or serving as a volunteer for the event, send an email to the Rammes: wineevents4fun
Exports set a record
Domestic wine exports continue to expand, with four straight years of record growth. According to the Wine Institute, a San Francisco-based trade organization for California’s wine industry, 2013’s wine exports reached a record $1.55 billion in revenues. That figure marks a 16.4 percent increase over 2012. Volume shipments in 2013 meanwhile reached more than 48 million cases, a 7.5 percent increase over the previous year.
The global thirst for domestic wine continues, with California responsible for 90 percent of these exports. Europe ranks as the top export market, followed by Canada. While Asia’s recently been a hot market for domestic wines, the final export numbers were mixed depending on region. Exports were down 12 percent to Hong Kong, and down 7 percent in Japan. The value of wine exports to China were up 6 percent, and up 16 percent to South Korea.
“While the U.S. remains our largest, most important market, California exports a fifth of its wine, and we are on track to reach our goal of $2 billion in exports by 2020,” said Robert Koch, president of the Wine Institute, in a statement.
Call The Bee’s Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. On Twitter @chris_macias.