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October 22, 2013 | 1:41 PM

Across the news desk this week was an update from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

How many new New York wineries have opened in the past five years?

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is sponsoring an updated and expanded economic impact study conducted by Barbara Insel of Stonebridge Research in Napa Valley, who also did studies for us in 2005 and 2008. The last study, using 2008 data, showed that the New York grape, grape juice, and wine industry generated more than $3.76 billion annually in economic activity and benefits for the State of New York.

As this is being updated, one logical question is how many wineries existed then, compared with now. Answer: 234 vs. 342. That's a gain of 108 in 5 years, or 32% of all wineries during 3% of the time the industry has existed (starting in 1839).

Now that certainly does not mean a 32% increase in the total economic impact, since most new wineries are very small and don't have the same multiplier effect; and the study also counts grapes and grape juice as well as the multitude of ancillary industries that benefit from our existence. But certainly the impact will be greater.

We are also including our colleagues in the craft beer, spirits, and cider sectors, all of which are growing quickly as well, and which have not had such a study done. We're hoping the study will be complete by January when the next legislative session begins.
 

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