The Wine Institute reports the volume of U.S. wine exports rose 3% to 79 million gallons in 2000, with 90% of that total from California. The rise in revenues to $560 million continues a 14-year trend that has seen wine exports grow 16-fold from 1985's $35 million.

Joseph Rollo, international director of the Wine Institute, believes, "Export sales were challenging in 2000 because of the strong U.S. dollar and increasing competition. However, exports to our largest markets, the United Kingdom and Canada, remained strong, and the high-quality, cutting-edge image that California wine has established continues to drive sales in all markets."

The $144 million in sales to the United Kingdom in 2000 was tops among U.S. wine export markets, with Canada accounting for $105 million. Others in the top five included the Netherlands with $77 million, Japan with $69 million and Switzerland with $24 million.