A new study shows San Luis Obispo County's wine industry helps generate $1.9 billion for the regional economy.
Annual winery-related tourism visits hit 1.56 million in 2015 according to the research done by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center based at UC Davis. The industry also accounted for 28 percent of hotel visits.
The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRWCA) commissioned the study. Executive Director Jennifer Porter said the fact that the Paso Robles area is still considered a burgeoning wine region is a plus.
"We know from research we did last year that only about 35 percent of serious wine drinkers are very familiar with Paso," said Porter. "So, as we continue to increase awareness of Paso and get people to come and visit us, that number is only going to grow."
Porter said while the study's numbers are impressive, they would have been even greater if they hadn't been sampled during a drought-affected year.
The study goes beyond the Paso Robles region by including Edna Valley and other south county vineyard and winery operations.
2015 harvest year numbers provided by PRWCA:
- Economic Impact - $1.9 Billion
- Jobs Generated - 13,627
- Wages Paid - $388 Million
- Property Tax Assessments to Vineyards and Wineries - $44.8 Million
- Tourism Visits to Wineries - 1.56 Million Wine Related
- Tourism Expenditures - $194 Million
- Wine Related Tourism Percentage Demand for Countywide Hotel Accommodations - 28%
- Percentage of Gross Regional Product for San Luis Obispo County - 6.5%