State Agricultural Officials Celebrate the Growth of the Massachusetts Wine Industry
"Massachusetts residents no longer have to look to far off places such as Napa Vadespite the recent challenging economic climate, the Massachusetts wine industry is growing, with increases in both production and sales.lley or Washington State to find great wine, you can find high quality goods produced locally by talented craftsmen," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., whose secretariat includes the DAR. "Wineries are becoming a valuable part of the Commonwealth's agricultural economy and the future only looks brighter for this burgeoning industry."
In 2010, Massachusetts wineries hand-crafted and bottled over 134,724 gallons of still, sparkling wine, and hard apple cider - compared to 111,446 gallons in 2007. Based on reports from the Massachusetts Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, this represents an increase of 21 percent.
"Massachusetts consumers are discovering exceptional wines being produced right here in the Bay State," said DAR Commissioner Scott J. Soares. "This awareness has been enhanced by sales of wine at farmers' markets, as well as visits to winery tasting rooms across the state."
Recent legislation has allowed licensed wine makers to sell their vintages, directly marketed to consumers at approved farmers' markets across the Commonwealth. According to officials at DAR, wine makers have received enthusiastic reviews from their interactions with shoppers, part of the direct-to-consumer movement, as well as a higher profit margin for the winery which contributes towards a more sustainable business.
Of the 40 licensed wineries in Massachusetts, 36 produce and sell products made from viniferous and cold hearty grapes, as well as a variety of fruit including apples, cranberries, peaches and blueberries that are savored by consumers across the state and the country. Four of the wineries were not selling product at the time of the survey.
Last year, there were 36 wineries producing wine and hard cider - seven more than in 2007 - and triple the number in 1994.
Since 2007, the following wineries have opened: Issaks of Salem, Salem; Green River Ambrosia, Greenfield; Mineral Hills Winery, Florence; Still River Winery, Harvard; Travessia, New Bedford; Willow Spring, Haverhill; and Zoll Cellars, Shrewsbury. Click here for a recent snapshot of the growth of the Massachusetts wine industry was released in July.
Wine sales totaled $9.3 million in sales in 2010, an increase from $7.8 million in 2007. Hard cider production added over 30,000 gallons since the last survey. Direct sales to consumers represented approximately 66 percent of farm winery sales in Massachusetts. The remaining 34 percent of the sales were wholesale, part of the three-tier system of distribution in Massachusetts. Twenty- six wineries in the state have tasting rooms and are open to visitors.
Over 1,842 acres of open space are currently maintained by farm wineries across the Commonwealth, with 531 acres devoted exclusively to grape or fruit production to make wine. In 1994, wineries held only 600 acres of open space.
The ability for farm wineries to sell directly to consumers through e-commerce has also helped the wine industry. There are currently 13 wineries who offer direct shipping from their websites and which consider this an important success factor for their overall business.
The national average per capita consumption of wine is about 2.54 gallons per year. There has been a growth of 4.8 percent per year in per capita consumption across the country. Massachusetts consumers rank 7th in the nation for per capita consumption at 4.9 gallons per year, nearly double the national average.
Summary 1994 - 2010
Number of wineries producing wine
Total sales (millions)
Acres for grapes/fruit
Full time vs. part time
144 : 34
90 : 92
Wholesale vs. retail sales
34% : 66%
29% : 71%
37% : 63%
Click here to find a winery to visit and view the updated Massachusetts wine and cheese trail map at http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/docs/wine-cheese-map.pdf.
DAR's mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions - Agricultural Conservation & Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health, and Crop and Pest Services - DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth's agricultural community to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture's role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit DAR's website at www.mass.gov/agr, and/or follow at twitter.com/MDARCommish