Industry Overview and History
Learn about the science and study of winemaking through resources, publications, and industry information from the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry. Find resources that dive deeper into the history of winemaking and wine consumption in the United States and across the globe. The following articles explore the foundations of grape growing and winemaking, from its origins in ancient history to its economic growth in America after the Prohibition.
The Iowa wine and grape industry continues to grow and impact local economies throughout the state, particularly through the addition of small wineries. These locally owned wineries power tourism, increase jobs, and drive wine production in Iowa. Learn more about the economic impact of the wine industry in Iowa by reading through the following resources:
- Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Annual Reports
- The Economic Impact of Iowa Wine and Wine Grapes – 2012 (March 2014), A Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP Report
- 2008 Iowa Wine and Vineyards Economic Impact Report
- 101 Iowa Grape & Wine Industry Facts by Michael L. White, Iowa State University, August 2015
- State of Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Funding Distribution and Revenue Earned
Iowa Native Wine Production & Sales Report
Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) collects monthly data from Iowa’s wineries regarding production, inventory, sales, and non-sale uses of native wine produced in Iowa. This data is reported by the winery owners monthly and has been compiled at the end of each calendar year to track activities in Iowa’s wine industry. In recent years, production and sales data from producers of mead and cider has been included in the same database, and it is reflected in the inventory, production, sales, and tax totals in this report.
2020 Iowa Wineries & Vineyards Map
Wine History Resources
This paper was researched and written to bridge some information gaps on the grape industry for interested Iowa producers, entrepreneurs, educators, researchers, and policy makers. The paper reviews the historical and present-day production of Iowa grapes; examines sources of table grapes, wines, grape juices, and raisins for sale in Iowa food stores; and provides some suggestions for redevelopment of Iowa’s grape industry.
In the first settlements on this continent, the grape-vines found indigenous, were esteemed among the most valuable productions. In “Force’s Collection of Historical Tracts” – 1620 to 1760 – frequent allusion is made by the writers to our native grapes and to the wine made from them.
From the Beginnings to Prohibition – The history of the vine in America begins, symbolically at least, in the fogs that shroud the medieval Norsemen’s explorations. Every American knows the story of Leif Ericsson, and how, in A.D. 1001, he sailed from Greenland to the unknown country to the
A 1909 book authored by Thomas Volney (TJ) Munson, a leading expert in native American grape species. His studies were instrumental in saving the European grape and wine industry from phylloxera during the late nineteenth century. His work improved the different varieties of American grapes and led to the introduction of 300+ grape varieties.
A July 1921 bulletin, written by T.J. Maney, from the Agricultural Experiment Station Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Describing the commercial grape growing industry in western Iowa. Including history of the industry; the factors of climate, soil, pests and disease; vineyard practices; vineyard statistics; cost of production; and distribution.
A series of columns written well regarded viticulture expert, Fred Elmer Gladwin. His articles were published in Rural New Yorker in 1931 and share a history of grape growing in the Eastern US.
Iowa Wine Growers Apprenticeship Program
Gain hands-on experience and training in winemaking through the Iowa Wine Grower’s Association (IWGA) Registered Apprenticeship Program. Designed to create an experienced workforce to sustain Iowa’s wine industry, this apprenticeship program provides structured education to accepted applicants by allowing them to learn in a winery setting. Learn more about this apprenticeship program by visiting the IWGA website.