Governor Bob McDonnell has announced that a newly released economic impact study shows Virginia's burgeoning wine industry contributes almost three-quarters of a billion dollars — or $747 million — annually to Virginia's economy.

This is an increase of 106 percent over the figures from the last economic impact study conducted in 2005.

All major economic drivers examined in the comprehensive study showed significant double-digit percentage growth.

"The Virginia wine industry has seen tremendous growth over last few years," said Governor McDonnell. "From beautiful new wineries starting up to more and more retail outlets and restaurants adding our wines to their shelves and menus, the growth has been very evident even to the casual observer.

“However, this study clearly quantifies that growth with empirical data and shows the significant economic impact that the industry is having across the Commonwealth.

“I congratulate our winery owners and grape growers for these achievements, and I look forward to working with them as we continue our efforts to make Virginia the pre-eminent East Coast destination for wine and winery tourism."

The 2010 Economic Impact Study of Wine and Wine Grapes on the Commonwealth of Virginia, which was completed by Frank, Rimmerman + Co., a nationally recognized accounting and consulting firm that specializes in the wine industry studies, was commissioned by the Virginia Wine Board (VWB) and completed in January 2012.

It is the first economic impact study of the Virginia wine industry since 2005. That report showed the Virginia wine industry employed just over 3,100 people and contributed more than $360 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis.

The study reflected the impact of approximately 130 wineries in 2005.

In comparing the figures from 2005 and 2010, the full economic impact of wine and wine grapes on the Virginia economy has more than doubled, from $362 million to $747 million, a 106 percent increase.

The number of wineries increased from 129 in 2005 to 193 in 2010, a 49 percent increase.

The number of full-time equivalent jobs at wineries and vineyards rose from 3,162 to 4,753, a 50 percent increase, and wages from jobs at wineries and vineyards increased from $84 million to $156 million, an 86 percent increase, during the same time period.

The report showed significant growth during the five-year period examined in the number of grape growers and grape bearing acreage as well as taxes generated for state and local governments.