The United States passed France as the world’s largest wine-consuming nation in 2010, with shipments to the U.S. totaling nearly 330 million cases.

According to Woodside-based wine consultants Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates, the estimated retail value of these sales was $30 billion.

The Gomberg-Fredrikson Report found that California wine accounted for a 61 percent volume share of the total U.S. wine market, with almost 200 million cases sold.

“Wine consumption is still a low 2.6 gallons per capita, but the adult population is growing every year as echo boomers come of age and adopt wine just as their baby boomer parents did,” said Jon Fredrikson of The Gomberg-Fredrikson Report.

In terms of California varietals, Fredrikson estimates that the state was led by Chardonnays, with sales of over 53 million cases. Sales of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Riesling and Muscat also grew rapidly in 2010.

Sparkling wine and champagne sales were also up 10 percent in the U.S. last year.

Fredrikson said sales of high-end wines remained a challenge, but many marketers are now using social media to connect with increasingly tech-savvy consumers.

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