by Photo via Unsplash

The San Diego County Vinters Association (SDCVA) reported about $44.1 million in gross sales but has reached the local winery’s all-time high sales in 2019. 

The report was authored by Vince Vasquez, an independent economic analyst and executive director of the Policycraft Institute, and was underwritten by the SDCVA, using wineries survey data, economic modeling software, California ABC licenses, and County records to calculate the economic health of the San Diego County wine industry
To understand how San Diego County wineries were operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, the SDCVA electronically distributed an 18-question survey to its members and non-member winery owners throughout the county, receiving 43 responses, generating a 27 percent response rate from operating wineries.

Last year, the region produced 3,073 tons of wine grapes from 1,370 acres of vines with a production value of $5.2 million.  San Diego County saw record-high figures in 2019 when vineyards harvested a record 3,596 tons of wine grapes, worth $5.58 million, with a sales price of $1,552 per ton. 

The number of active wineries in San Diego County rose to 160 in 2021.
“San Diego County’s wine industry continues to make important contributions to our economy, history, and culture. Our 200-year history of harvesting local grapes has promoted new job creation, amazing food, and entertainment venues as well as cultural amenities. As a member of the Assembly Select Committee on Wine, I am excited to advocate on behalf of our vibrant grape growing industry!” said California Assembly Member Marie Waldron.

According to the report, most wineries had problems with employee recruitment and retention, posing challenges to their business operations. Approximately 63 percent stated they or the owner had to personally take on more work roles and work longer hours, and 41 percent received help from friends, family, and volunteers. 

The survey found that 37 percent of winery owners had to ask staff to work longer hours, 30 percent reported spending more time and/or money training current staff, and 22 percent reduced operating hours. 

The report found 81 percent of growers reported excellent to good harvest quality, the strongest since 2016, while Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Sangiovese varietals last year retained their rankings from prior years. 

“Our wine industry continues to make great strides, especially in North County,'' County Supervisor Jim Desmond said. “I was a big supporter of keeping wineries open during the pandemic to keep these small businesses afloat. Local wineries are thriving despite the last few years of uncertainty, creating jobs, attracting tourism, and providing an important cultural industry in the county. It's impressive.''
The 2022 San Diego County Economic Impact of Wineries report can be found at

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *