Commercial Vineyard Workshop Makes Inroads into Northern Iowa

Name and Position/Title:
Michael L. White; Extension Viticulture Specialist

Fiscal Year Submitted:
2010

POW Number & Title:
136 Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute

Title:
Commercial Vineyard Workshop Makes Inroads into Northern Iowa

Issue:
The Iowa native winery business has grown exponentially over the last 10 years.  Iowa now has 82 federally licensed wineries and over 400 commercial vineyards covering approximately 1,200 acres.  A recent (February of 2010) economic impact study completed by MKF Research in California showed that the 74 wineries and 400+ commercial winegrape vineyards provided at $234 million economic impact to Iowa in 2007.   Much of this industry growth has occurred in the southern half and eastern third of Iowa.  The predominant corn/soybean area of north central Iowa has dramatically lagged behind the rest of the state in the establishment of vineyards and wineries in Iowa.

What Did You Do?:
Mike White, Viticulture Specialist with ISU Extension’s Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute partnered with Dennis Johnson, Worth County Extension Education Specialist and Dan & Julie Robb, owners of a newly established vineyard sponsored an introductory Iowa commercial winegrape and grape pruning workshop at the Comfort Inn & Suites on I-35 near Northwood, Iowa.  This workshop was held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 10, 2010.

Results/Outcome: 
Forty two people attended this workshop, with most staying an additional 1.5 hours after the scheduled adjourn time to ask questions of Mike White while standing in Dan & Julie Robb’s vineyard.   An after meeting evaluation showed that over 80% of the attendees did not have a commercial vineyard.  Four individuals were considering a winery.  Several others were considering planting a vineyard in the near future.   An average overall meeting evaluation score of 4.73 and an average perceived economic value score of 4.50 resulted from this workshop (1 = poor, 5 = excellent).    Hopefully this introductory workshop will plant the seed for the establishment of a few more wineries and commercial vineyards in this part of the state.

White - Robb Vineyard

  



2010 136 Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute

Page last updated: June 30, 2010
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu