It’s not often people equate wine with economic growth. But they should.

Take New York: The wine industry added $3.76 billion to the state’s economy in 2008, according to a study by Napa-based Stonebridge Research Group, LLC.

Aside from the increasing revenues in the state’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, wine is the only agricultural product that generates excise and sales taxes for the state and local economies.

Then there is tourism income. Wine trails throughout New York are a major reason nearly five million tourists visited in 2008, bringing lots of money to the rural economies.

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