The economic impact of Iowa’s wine and vineyard industry is estimated at $234.3 million, Iowa Wine Growers Association President David W. Cushman announced during the organization’s annual meeting. The economic impact number comes from a recently published study compiled from 2008 figures, the first of its kind for Iowa’s wine and vineyard industry.
The study also reveals that Iowa produced 186,700 gallons of wine in 2008, for a total of $7.6 million in retail value of wine sold. The industry supported 1,773 jobs and $50 million in wages.
“We are just scratching the surface for the economic impact Iowa wine can have for the state,” said Cushman. “Iowa’s per capita wine consumption trails the national average by more than five bottles per person per year. I would expect the resurgence of a native wine industry in Iowa will increase the awareness and accessibility to wine in general and will bring our resident wine consumption closer to the national average. This represents a potential of $120 million in wine sales. This economic impact study shows that for every $1 spent on Iowa wine another $30 is cycled through Iowa. This is a big impact on Iowa’s economy!”
Cushman also noted:
- During 2008, Iowa had 74 licensed wineries, 400 grape growers and 1,000 grape-bearing acres.
- An estimated 237,000 wine-related Iowa travelers spent $27.5 million in 2008.
- In 2008, Iowa ranked #14 in the number of wineries and #22 in wine production in the U.S.
- In 2009, Iowa wineries sold 212,891 gallons of wine, representing a 5.5 percent market share of wine purchased in Iowa, up from 5.25 percent in 2008.
- In January 2010, there were 82 licensed wineries, 400 grape growers and 1,200 grape-bearing acres.
“Travelers to our state enjoy visiting the wineries,” says Nancy Landess, Manager of the Iowa Tourism Office. “According to our welcome center staff, some of the most frequently asked questions are about Iowa’s wineries. And that is reflected in the Iowa Welcome Center Survey report; welcome center travelers with an interest in wineries spend more money and are more likely to extend their stay in Iowa.”
The study was completed by MFK Research of St. Helena, California. MFK Research has completed several statewide wine and vineyard economic impact studies, along with a national research study.