February 23, 2024
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Vital Signs: Wine stimulates Santa Barbara County economy


Santa Barbara County’s wine and winegrape sector contributed about $1.7 billion in annual economic activity, according to a new report commissioned by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG).

The report also shows that the Santa Barbara County wine industry provides 10,202 local jobs and $602.6 million in annual wages and benefits. The local winemaking industry also generates $117.2 million in annual tourism spending from its 1.1 million annual visitors.

“Santa Barbara County is a significant contributor to the local, state, and national economies with jobs, tax revenue, and community donations,” Alison Laslett, CEO of the Santa Barbara Vintners, said in a press release. “Santa Barbara Wine Country is home to both well-known and small production vintners that take great pride in providing jobs, producing quality wines, and protecting the beauty and vitality of our community for future generations.”

Santa Barbara County is known for producing various diverse premium wines. The region has 327 area wineries and vineyards that produce more than 70 different winegrape varieties on 15,750 acres. There are seven AVAs that include the Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Happy Canyon, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez Valley, and Alisos Canyon.

Santa Barbara County’s wine sector is also a dedicated community partner, contributing to the California wine industry’s donation of $291.2 million to charities throughout the state.

Source: California Association of Winegrape Growers