What’s your favorite Jersey wine or winery?
New Jersey’s wine industry is aging nicely, according to a new study released Wednesday that compared numbers from 2011 to 2016.
Growers are bottling more wine than ever — the state’s production increased by 73.1 percent — and the industry had a $323 million economic impact in 2016 (an increase of 39.9 percent from the $231 million reported in 2011), according to a new study released by the Garden State Wine Growers Association.
The study compared data over a five year period, from 2011 to 2016. Here, other highlights, by the numbers:
- The wineries are growing in number, increasing from 38 to 50 from 2011 to 2016.
- And they’re growing on more land than ever — actual grape-bearing acres are up 23.3 percent (from 1,283 to 1,582 acres).
- All those extra grapes mean wine production is up to 702,671 gallons in 2016, from 405,954 gallons in 2011.
- Wine, grapes and related industries jobs are up 35.4 percent from 2011, accounting for 1,979 jobs (up from 1,462 in 2011).
- The majority of those jobs are in the actual wineries and vineyards, with an associated payroll of $85.57 million in 2016.
- New Jersey’s wine, grape and allied industries paid $23.24 million in federal taxes and $17.73 million in state and local taxes in 2016, including roughly $2.35 million in total excise taxes.
- N.J. wine is worth more these days: The study estimates the retail value of New Jersey wine sold at about $29.53 million in 2016, up from $21.46 million in 2011.
- Overall wine sales and production are not concentrated within a few large wineries — in fact, the majority of New Jersey wineries are small, producing fewer than 5,000 cases a year, and a most of them sell their wine directly to customers through tasting rooms.
- 108,813 tourists visited New Jersey wineries in 2016.
- But despite an increase in visitors from 2011, total tourism revenue declined from $20.10 million in 2011 to $19.99 million in 2016, because visitors are spending less and visiting fewer wineries. “Specifically, tourism spending per visitor has decreased from $209.66 in 2011 to $183.67 in 2016, a drop of approximately 12.4 percent,” the study says.
- Several existing wineries have expanded their facilities to incorporate space for private parties, weddings and festivals, generating approximately $2.32 million in additional revenue.
“This economic impact study clearly shows the positive role our wineries and wine-related industries are having on the state’s economy not only from jobs and tax revenue, but also from helping to boost tourism in the state,” said Valerie Tishuk, Chair of the Garden State Wine Growers Association.
The GSWGA is a coalition of more than 50 wineries, grape growers and vineyard owners across the state. Their study was funded by a Wine Industry Council Grant, and completed by accounting and consulting firm Frank, Rimerman + Co., according to a release accompanying the results.
See the full study here.
What’s your favorite Jersey wine or winery? Tell us in the comments.