An Iowa State University professor says the state’s wine industry is expanding and causing an economic boom.
Murli Dharmadhikari, the director of the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at ISU, cites a recent study from a California-based consulting firm. It shows the economic impact of Iowa’s wine industry was $420 million in 2012.
That’s an increase of around 80-percent from $234 million in 2008.
Iowa was home to around 30 wineries and 500 acres of wine grapes a decade ago. Now the numbers have jumped to 100 wineries covering 1,200 acres.
The report estimated that 358,000 people visited Iowa wineries in 2012. That’s up 51-percent from 2008.
Dharmadhikari says, “From small towns and rural farms to larger cities, members of the Iowa wine industry are investing in their communities and the people who live there.”
The industry accounts for 2,600 jobs in the state.