Wine Tours



Family-owned wineries are popular tourist attractions in certain regions of the United States. These wine-producing vineyards host visitors for educational tours and wine tasting. Some locations offer overnight stays.

California is the number 1 producer of wine in the US and number 4 largest winemaker worldwide. Tourism directly related to California’s wine industry accounts for 23.6 million visitors and expenditures of $7.2 billion annually.

California has more than 4,600 bonded wineries. There are more than 11,400 wineries in the United States. The total retail value of California wine shipments in the U.S. was a record $35.2 billion in 2017, according to the Wine Institute.


Vineyard owners must adhere to state laws regarding the serving and selling of wine. Depending on the state, a license may be required to serve wine on the premises. A separate license is required to retail wine.

The Twenty First Amendment, which repealed Prohibition in 1933, granted states the right to control alcohol sales. A distribution system used in many states requires wine to be channeled through a wholesaler or a retailer before it is sold to a consumer. Since federal law governs interstate commerce, wineries and wholesalers claim the Constitution grants them a right to sell directly to consumers using phone sales or e-commerce.

The District of Columbia and 38 states are allowed limited interstate shipment of limited quantities of wine, and 12 states prohibit it. The U.S. Supreme Court in May 2005 handed down a decision on the constitutionality of discriminatory wine shipment laws. As a result, it is now unconstitutional for states to allow in-state wineries to ship wine to consumers without providing the same opportunity for out-of-state wineries.


Wine Institute

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Updated September 2018