Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute Partners with Iowa Wine Growers Association for Multistate Educational Tour

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension
Iowa State University

Title of Success Story

Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute Partners with Iowa Wine Growers Association for Multistate Educational Tour

Public Value (now or future)
(Impact:  Who benefits beyond participants and how?  What conditions changed?)

Iowa vineyard and winery industry members were able to learn from more mature members of this industry located in other states.  Information shared on this trip will help them grow grapes with less of an environmental impact and greater efficiency. They also learned marketing methods that could be used to  grow the economic impact of this industry in Iowa.

(Why is it important to address this issue with education?  What are the desired changes?)

People tend to listen to experience.   This tour visited more experienced vineyards and wineries in states where the industry is more mature. Moving growers toward using vineyard mechanization and more efficient vineyard growing practices were desired grower changes.  Incorporating more effective or unique winery management and marketing methods to improve profitability was the intent of visiting the wineries.

(Outputs: activities, numbers reached, publications, products)

Eighteen members of our grape and wine Industry attended this three day tour July 26-28, 2011.The Iowa Wine Growers Association sponsored the bus for this trip. Attendees paid all other costs. The following visits were made.

  • Lavender Crest Winery – Colona, IL
  • Michigan State University SW Research Station – Benton Harbor, MI
  • Arrowhead Vineyards – Barota, MI
  • Anderson Winery – Valpariaso, IN
  • Fox Valley Winery – Oswego, IL

A summary of this trip and 76 pictures posted with descriptions were posted on facebook here.

A summary of this trip and select pictures were put in Wine Grower News #177 (8-1-11). This newsletter goes out to 1,350+ industry members in 34 states and 6 countries.

Survey Monkey was used to survey the tour participants after the tour taken.

Desired Changes

Based on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 5 (Excellent) participants of the tour rated the educational value of this trip 4.13 and the personal economic value of this trip a 4.67.  100% of the participants highly encouraged organizing another trip for 2012. 
Individual survey comments included:

  • Learned the importance of canopy management in the vineyard.
  • Vineyard mechanization is key to a profitable vineyard.
  • Learned some key winery marketing tips and will work toward marketing some wine in a box.

One vineyard and winery owner from Nebraska who was on the tour indicated that he was going to start working on purchasing a mechanical grape harvester for his vineyard.

Extension Lead(s)
(name, position, counties served, contact information)

Michael L. White, State Viticulture Specialist
ISU Extension & Outreach
909 E. 2nd Ave., Suite E
Indianola, IA 50125
Ph: 515-961-6237
Cell: 515-681-7286


Your Position

­­­­­_____Field                                        _____Campus                         __x___Both

POW # and Team

 ­­­­­_____100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection
­­­­­_____ 110 Dairy
­­­­­_____ 120 Farm and Business Management
­­­­­___x__ 130 Horticulture: Commercial and Consumer
­­­­­_____ 140 Iowa Beef Center
­­­­­_____ 150 Iowa Pork Industry Center
­­­­­_____ 160 Natural Resources and Stewardship

ANR Priority (select all that apply)

­­­­­_____Global Food Security and Hunger
­­­­­___x__Regional Food Systems
­­­­­__x___Natural Resources & Environmental Stewardship
­­­­­_____Food Safety
­­­­­_____Sustainable Energy – Biofuels & Biobased Products
­­­­­_____Climate Change

Knowledge Areas: (USDA categories)


Continuing Story

___x__ No                _____  Yes (If continuing, what story?)

Major Partners or Collaborators

Iowa Wine Growers Association

Where story took place
(Region, campus, multi-regional)

Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana.

Fiscal Year


Multi-state or Integrated (Ext + Research)

Yes, one participant from Nebraska attended this bus tour.   Information was shared between the attendees and tour hosts in IA, IL, IN, and MI.

Funding Source

Iowa Wine Growers Association 50% - participants – 50%


Grape, Vineyard, Winery, Lavender Crest, Anderson, Fox Valley, Arrowhead, Michigan State University


Page last updated: January 4, 2012
Page maintained by Julie Honeick, jhoneick@iastate.edu