GROWING MARKET: Iowa Wines Mature

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In the year 2000, Iowa had just five vineyards covering some 15 acres.

In 2013, that number has exploded to 310 vineyards covering more than 1,200 acres.

In fact, Iowa ranks around 14th in the nation for the number of wineries, with about 100 in the state.

According to Iowa State University extension grape specialist Mike White Iowa’s wine industry is maturing both in the quality of the wine and in its market share.

Last year, 5.6 percent of all the wine sold in Iowa was made right here in the state.

Local winemakers say they can feel the enthusiasm growing.

John Burns with Barrel Head Winery says, “I believe in promoting Iowa because, because of our rich, black soil, we’re capable of bringing something new to the wine market.”

In 2012 Iowa winemakers sold a collective 300,000 gallons of wine.

Many are also adding new features to their wineries like restaurants and bed and breakfasts.