A new study released by San Diego County and the San Diego County Vintners Association shows the positive impacts of the growing San Diego wine industry, including job creation, sales tax revenue and other economic benefits.
The study found that the San Diego wine industry adds $30.4 million to the region's economy.
And the trend is growing. From 2015 to 2016, sales at wineries increased on average 88 percent.
"Our wine industry is definitely on the map now,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob, San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair said in a written release.
The increase in San Diego wineries comes after the passage of the 2010 San Diego County Wine Ordinance. This ordinance allowed for the making and selling of wine, without getting a major use permit, which would typically cost around $250,000.
Linda McWilliams, President of the San Diego County Vintners Association and Owner of San Pasqual Winery in La Mesa, believes that this ordinance opened the door to these economic benefits.
McWilliams also said the ordinance was fine-tuned in 2016 to provide more clarification on things that weren’t stated clearly in 2010. One of these changes was that no more than 25 percent of wine production can come from outside San Diego County. McWilliams said this is a common practice in well-established wine regions.
San Diego County currently has more than 100 active wineries, from North County to the border.
The industry has provided almost 700 jobs in the county.
An analysis done by San Diego County on the economic impact of wineries showed that county wineries made over $23,873,100 in gross sales last year.
In addition, wine sales generated $1.1 million in total sales taxes, and $965,429 in property taxes.
The county also says wine tasting is a top activity for San Diego tourists.
McWilliams is looking forward to continuing the wine industry’s growth and says they will be successful if people stop saying they didn’t even know there were wineries in San Diego.