Analyst says US wine production, consumption up

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — U.S. residents now make up the largest wine market in the world, consuming 13 percent of all that's produced globally.

That's according to a wine industry analyst who spoke at a major industry gathering in Sacramento, Calif. on Wednesday. Jon Fredrikson told wine industry executives at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium that U.S. production increased 2 percent last year to help meet demand.

But he said wines from Argentina, Chile and Australia continued to capture a growing share of the U.S. market.

Overseas wines now account for 35 percent of sales in the U.S.

According to the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa (http://bit.ly/WVhZEz), Fredrikson said consumers were driven to cheaper imports by grape shortages in the US in 2010 and 2011 that resulted in higher prices for domestic wines.

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