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Report: Arizona Wine Tourism Pours $56 Million Into State

The Grand Canyon is most often associated with tourism in our state, but Arizona’s wine industry is flexing more muscle. A new report finds the annual economic impact of wine tourism is $56.2 million, up nearly $20 million since the last study in 2011.

The report produced by the Alliance Bank Business Outreach Center at Northern Arizona University uses a formula to include direct, indirect and induced spending and a multiplier effect. It determined wine tourism supports 640.6 full-time equivalent jobs.

Stephanie Dowling with the Arizona Office of Tourism says 70 percent of visitors to wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms left with bottles.

“The average expenditure on just wine was $78,” she said. ”That’s a very high number. We like that number because it certainly speaks to the support of some of our individual business owners and these communities.”

While the majority of visitors to wineries and vineyards are Arizona residents, Dowling said 40 percent of visitors to tasting rooms come from out of state.

“It is a big deal because that’s considered new money into the state, new visitor dollars and so we always look for that number to be as high as possible,” she said.

Arizona has three dominant wine regions — Cochise, Santa Cruz and Yavapai Counties. The most out-of-state visitors come from Illinois, California and Wisconsin.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.