Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has awarded North Dakota's first research grants to support and promote the state's grape and wine industry. "The 2013 Legislature appropriated $80,000 for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture to fund industry research and promotion," Goehring said. "North Dakota's grape and wine industry has seen significant growth in recent years, and the research funded by these grants will help keep that industry growing."
After confusion over what, if any, agency would regulate ice cream products that contain ice cream, sponsor state Rep. Marcus Hunter, D-Monroe, agreed to delay a vote on the bill until he could speak to state alcohol regulation officials. It is unclear when the bill might be heard again.
The economic impact of Iowa's wine industry has exploded in recent years, according to a new study. Frank, Rimerman + Co., a California-based consulting firm, reported that the economic impact of Iowa's wine and wine grapes industry was $420 million in 2012, an increase of around 80 percent from $234 million in 2008.
Iowa's wine industry has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, prompting an Iowa State University professor to contend that the state has the potential to be a regional leader. Murli Dharmadhikari, director of the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State University, notes that Iowa was home to around 30 wineries and 500 acres of wine grapes a decade ago. Those numbers have soared to 100 wineries covering 1,200 acres today.