California Wines Launches New Global Buyers Marketplace to Connect International Wine Buyers and Importers to Statewide Producers

Visionary summit underscores California’s commitment to capture significant global market share and grow the state’s $1.47 billion export wine sales 

NAPA, CA, November 2, 2022—California Wines launched its inaugural Global Buyers Marketplace on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022 in Napa Valley. The first-ever event of its kind, the two-day conference gathered more than 80 buyers and importers from 26 countries to taste wines from 150 wineries across the state, increasing the buyers’ global understanding of California’s commercial success, diversity of wine styles, and approachable price points.  

Vice President of International Marketing Honore Comfort introduces Elaine Chukan Brown and Kelli A. White to lead the What’s New in California Masterclass tasting

Buyer guests at the conference represent an estimated total of $10 billion in wines sales annually, and the focus of the conference is to increase California’s share of that business. In addition to sampling wines and meeting with prospective suppliers, buyers from all over the world were involved in vital conversations on the future of California wines and the full spectrum of issues, including opportunities for sustainable winegrowing and climate action and the marketing and selling of California wines in their businesses. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these influential buyers and importers from our largest international wine markets—a group who collectively represents more than $10 billion US dollars in wine sales each year,” said Honore Comfort, Vice President of International Marketing at Wine Institute. “We are building a pipeline to connect buyers and sellers and creating a platform for trade to learn more about the California wines that they rarely have an opportunity to taste.” 

Hosted at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa, the summit hosted wine producers from winegrowing regions across California representing the state’s 4,200 bonded wineries. The diverse group of participating wineries includes notable producers such as Ridge Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Boisset Collection, Louis M. Martini, Hirsch Vineyards, Wente Vineyards and many others. The conference featured walk-around grand tastings, networking events, winery dinners in Napa Valley and Sonoma County, and intensive masterclasses led by award-winning wine educators Elaine Chukan Brown and Kelli A. White. 

The first masterclass, “What’s New in California,” explored the state’s latest enological developments from some of the world’s most innovative and respected winemakers. Through a guided tasting, Chukan Brown and White examined the latest styles, grape varieties, winemaking practices, and more. The second masterclass, “California Wines, Rooted in Sustainability,” featured a close look at sustainability in the California wine industry. Topics from innovative farming techniques to alternative packaging were discussed, with a tasting of wines from producers who are at the forefront of sustainable winemaking. 

“Bringing this conference to life took a massive team effort and the caliber of speakers, wineries and principals, combined with the sheer breadth of content, confirms that California is a powerful force in the global wine export market,” said Joe Lange of LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards, in Lodi. “There’s no substitute for visiting California and we wanted every delegate to experience firsthand the dynamic energy that courses through our regions as they become familiar with the wines and the remarkable stories behind them. We look forward to producing this California-focused global gathering for years to come, as a sustained effort to broaden the international connection to our wines and our vineyards.” 

As the event concluded in Napa Valley, participants set off on several different organized tours to explore several of California’s most prized wine regions: Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Lodi, Santa Cruz Mountains, Alexander Valley, Sierra Foothills, and beyond. Organizers recognize the importance of buyers experiencing firsthand California’s breadth and diversity, and the power of meeting with some of the State’s most iconic winemakers and growers who are leading the charge. 

Global Buyers Marketplace and Wine Institute’s Export Strategy 

Like the innovative wine producers of the Golden State, California Wines continuously sets new industry standards while elevating the wines of California at home and abroad. The Global Buyers Marketplace is the latest experiential project designed to introduce leading industry professionals to California’s dynamic wine production across the state’s unique winegrowing regions. It was conceived as part of the “Golden State of Mind” global brand campaign rolled out by California Wines in 2021, showcasing California wine as a leader in sustainable winegrowing, innovation, and winemaking advancements while promoting the commitment of generations of family farmers and winemakers to producing high-quality wines.  

The campaign is part of Wine Institute’s 10-year strategy to boost exports of U.S. wine to over $2.5 billion. In 2021, US wine exports grew by 10.6%—the most significant gain since 2013—resulting in $1.4 billion in total revenue. California produces 95% of all US wine exports, and it is the fourth largest wine producer in the world after Italy, France, and Spain.

About Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program  

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the administrator of the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) for California vintners representing 80% of U.S. wine production and 95% of U.S. wine exports. More than 195 California wineries exporting to 142 countries participate in Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program. The program has 16 representatives in key export markets worldwide who provide on-site support to wineries and help develop markets for California wines in more than 30 countries, including: 

  • Australia 
  • Belgium 
  • Bulgaria 
  • Canada 
  • China 
  • Czech Republic 
  • Denmark 
  • Germany 
  • Finland 
  • France 
  • Hong Kong 
  • Iceland 
  • India 
  • Ireland 
  • Israel 
  • Japan 
  • Macau 
  • Malaysia 
  • Mexico 
  • Netherlands 
  • Norway 
  • Philippines 
  • Poland 
  • Singapore 
  • South Korea 
  • Spain 
  • Sweden 
  • Switzerland 
  • Taiwan 
  • United Arab Emirates 
  • United Kingdom 
  • Vietnam 

The California Wine Export Program, a public-private partnership supported by winery contributions and the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP), features California as an environmental leader with distinctive wine regions, an ideal climate for growing world-class wines, an iconic lifestyle, and a culinary tradition rooted in locally grown products. In addition to marketing and promoting California wine overseas, Wine Institute conducts a comprehensive International Public Policy program focused on regulatory cooperation, removing trade barriers, and growing California wine exports. See: or the consumer website:

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