Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Wine sales soar, vineyards expand in OK

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EL RENO, Okla. — Apparently, Americans love their wine. New research shows that Americans are the biggest wine drinkers in the world, even more than Italy and France. A report by Vinexpo and International Wine and Spirit Research showed in 2011, Americans consumed 3.7 billion bottles of wine.

It's also been a good year for Oklahoma's growing wine industry.

Andrew Snyder with Chapel Creek Winery in El Reno says wine has grown in popularity thanks to the millennial generation and social media.

“They're socially acceptable of wine as a product, they're willing to experiment, do wine and food parings, so millennials are a big impact,” Snyder says.

Snyder also says the popularity of wine has grown so much that you will see several more wineries open right here in Oklahoma over the next several years.

He says, “You're going to see an increase in the number of Oklahoma wineries, the number of acres under production, as Oklahomans turn in some of their land that they've used for wheat, cattle and cotton.”

As the production of wine increases, so does the spending.

Even a tough economy doesn't stop consumers from forking over the cash.

“Wine consumers here nationally and in Oklahoma are not only consuming more wine, but willing to pay a little bit more for that wine,” Snyder says.

When consumed in moderation, he says the cardiovascular health benefits of wine will continue to spark interest in consumers.

On average, Americans consume 15 bottles of wine a year.

Consumption is expected to grow around 10 percent over the next four years.

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