[caption id="attachment_85925" align="alignnone" width="600"] Sonoma County wine-related tourism, such as trips to locales such as Los Carneros appellation, seen here, soared to $1.25 billion in 2012 from $263 million in 2005. (image courtesy of Sonoma County Vintners)[/caption]

SANTA ROSA -- The combined economic impact of the wine business on the Sonoma County economy was $13.4 billion in 2012, according to a study released Thursday.

That's nearly two-thirds of the county gross product. It's also up 76 percent from the $7.6 billion economic impact figured in 2005, the last such study, according to a report by Stonebridge Research Group and commissioned by Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Vintners.

[caption id="attachment_85945" align="alignright" width="258"] Honore Comfort[/caption]

"We've known Sonoma County wines have gained traction on the global wine market over the past decade, but we’re even more proud that we’ve nearly doubled the economic impact from our winemaking efforts since 2005," said Honore Comfort, executive director of Sonoma County Vintners, which has more than 200 members. “We generated more than $3 billion in wine sales in 2012, which is a testament to the quality and demand of Sonoma County wines."

Other highlights of the report are:The wine industry, directly and indirectly, provided 54,297 full-time-equivalent jobs in Sonoma County paying $3.2 billion in wages, compared with 27,534 jobs and $1 billion in wages in 2005.Total U.S. retail value of wines produced in Sonoma County was $7.6 billion.Total value of grapes grown in Sonoma County reached $582 million in 2012. The price per ton price increased 17 percent from 2005.The wine industry generated nearly $1.4 billion annually in local, state and federal taxes.Wine-related tourism generated more than $1.25 billion in 2012, compared with $263 million in 2005.Sonoma County’s wineries and winegrowers contributed more than $25 million to charitable causes.

[caption id="attachment_70077" align="alignright" width="282"] Karissa Kruse[/caption]

"Agriculture and grape growing are the heart and soul of Sonoma County’s heritage, and our multi-generational family winegrowers are proud to contribute so much to the growth and stability of the local economy,” said Karissa Kruse, president of Sonoma County Winegrowers, which represents more than 1,800 growers. "Most of all, we are proud that our vineyards have helped create thousands of jobs and give so much back to our neighbors and community."