Wine and Spirits Wholesalers in California Employ 9,000 Californians Earning $752 Million in Wages, New Data Shows

Aug 14, 2019
Industry generates $7.46 billion in California state tax revenue each year

Family-owned wine and spirits wholesalers in California deliver wine and spirits from every corner of the world to local restaurants, bars and stores — and are a major economic engine in the state, according to a new study. Wholesalers in California employ more than 9,000 people who earn $752 million in wages each year as part of an industry that generates $7.46 billion annually in California state tax revenue.


“As a fourth-generation family owner of a wine and spirits wholesaler, I’ve seen just how valuable the three-tier system of suppliers, wholesalers and retailers is to California’s economy,” said Chris Underwood, CEO of Young’s Market Company based in Tustin, California, and Senior Vice President of WSWA Executive Committee. “We represent nearly $7.5 billion in state tax revenue annually, and wholesalers specifically collect $232.66 million in excise taxes for the state that are reinvested in local communities.”


Distributors in the three-tier system efficiently move alcoholic beverage products from producer to consumer, and help keep the market safe and accountable, protecting consumers and non-consumers alike. Responsible distribution practices save California’s government money by accurately and efficiently collecting and remitting $232.66 million in state excise taxes.


“The economic growth of the wholesale tier in California is supported by the fair tax treatment of family-owned, pass-through businesses,” said Michelle Korsmo, WSWA President and CEO. “With certain pass-through provisions set to expire in 2025, the uncertainty created for these family businesses could compromise the current growth trend and potentially cost California millions of dollars,” Korsmo added.


To search data on wine and spirits wholesalers in California (and other states) by congressional district, state senate district, or state house district, click here. WSWA’s industry economic impact analysis and ongoing studies are prepared by John Dunham & Associates based in Brooklyn, New York.


WSWA is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesalers, distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 370 member companies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the U.S.