Recession? What recession?

That, at least, is one takeaway from a recent report indicating that U.S. wine exports—90 percent of which come from California—came close to breaking records for both quantity and dollar value.

According to the San Francisco-based Wine Institute, in 2014 U.S. wine exports totaled 49.2 million cases worth approximately $1.49 billion, not quite as much as the previous year but a 64-percent increase from five years ago. It could have been even better, the Institute suggests, except for the strong dollar vs. other world currencies and the West Coast port slowdown that began last summer.

The 28 countries in the European Union accounted for the largest share of U.S. exports, followed by Canada, Japan, China and Hong Kong. Exports to many European countries were down slightly from 2013 due to the relative weakness of the Euro against the dollar, while those to Japan and China were also down slightly. Exports to other Asian nations, Latin American countries and Canada, however, were higher in 2014 than the year before.

What’s driven the growth of U.S. exports for the third year running (since 2012) is a combination of good luck and savvy marketing. Last year’s weather was near-perfect for grape-growing, vintners said, though California’s ongoing drought will present ever-greater challenges in the future.

Also important is the marketing drive by California vintners and the Wine Institute, which have efforts in more than two-dozen countries with more than a dozen offices worldwide. And don’t forget the ubiquitous social media—Facebook, Twitter, et al—which is being used to promote U.S. wine in some 16 countries.