Michael L. White, Field Specialist-Viticulture, Central
The Iowa winegrape industry has grown dramatically over much of the state. Unfortunately, Sioux City and the surrounding area have not been participating in this growth. There are only a handful of small vineyards within 40 miles of Sioux City and no wineries that are open for business. The predominance of conventional agriculture in the area and the long distance from established winegrape vineyards and wineries are two of the major factors creating this situation.
Mike White teamed up with Mimi Shanahan, Woodbury County ISU Extension Horticulture Specialist and Megan Will, Master Gardener and Master Conservationist volunteer, to present a series of four evening Winegrape 101 classes on January 14, 21, 28 and February 4, 2009 in Sioux City. These classes were held in the ISU West Design Center in downtown Sioux City, Iowa. Attendance ranged from 13 to 18 per week with 13 completing all four sessions.
The final end-of-class evaluation rated the class an overall rating of 4.78 (1 poor - 5 excellent) with all nine of the respondents saying that they would recommend this class to others. This evaluation showed that 4 people were going to establish a commercial vineyard in 2009 and 3 were interested in starting a winery sometime in the future.
At the time of this writing one participant and his spouse are working with Mike White to complete a business plan for a vineyard and winery in nearby Plymouth County.
131 Commercial Horticulture Production Methods & Systems
Page last updated:
April 6, 2009
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