August 30, 2014

Midwest Winery Rankings for 2013

According to the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) the number of federal winery licenses in the 11 state Midwest Wine Press market area grew to 1,243  in 2013. This is a 10% increase from the number of winery licenses in 2012.

See newer story: 2014 Midwest Winery Rankings 

New for this year, the Midwest Wine Press Midwest Winery Rankings also include the number of wineries recognized by a leading wine organization in each state. Determining the exact number of wineries that are open to the public in the Midwest is an inexact science, but we have determined that more than 900 tasting rooms are currently open in the 11 states Midwest Wine Press covers. Surprisingly, the definition of a winery is not uniform in the United States. Unlike the definition of a winery used by some states, the Federal TTB  does not take into consideration where wine is made or where wine grapes are sourced from.  For example, according to the TTB, a winery located in Illinois that imports finished wine from California is an Illinois winery.  Meaderies and fruit wineries are also included in the TTB winery definition.

Among the highlights of the 2013 Winery Rankings:
  • The Minnesota and Wisconsin wine industries are the fastest growing  in the Midwest.  The number of TTB winery permits was up 19% in Minnesota last year and increased by 18% in Wisconsin during the same period.  Winery growth was also strong in Kansas which saw the number of TTB listed wineries increase by 17%.
  •  Every state in the Midwest had winery growth in 2012, but the growth rate has slowed in Illinois, Iowa and Kentucky.
  •  The Midwest may have the largest concentration of wine trails in country. Of the 274 wine trails in the US, 55 are in the Midwest.
  •  The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail is the largest wine trail in the Midwest with 25 wineries, up from 19 wineries in 2012.
  •  The Northern Illinois Wine Trail  and The Lake Erie Vines and Wine Trail in Ohio both come in a close tie for second place with 24 wineries each for 2013.
  •  The longest wine trail in the Midwest depends on the driving route one chooses, but two of the longest wine trails in the Midwest are Indiana Uplands Wine Trail and the Great River Road Wine Trail which winds through Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.   The Indiana Uplands trail is 101 miles end to end and the Great River Road Wine Trail spans over 200 miles.
  •  Missouri again had the most wine trails of any state with nine.
1.  Michigan Wineries :  2013- 226 wineries (+13%)   2012- 200 wineries
Wineries listed by the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council (MGWIC): 101 Why the Difference?  The MGWIC only lists wineries that use at least 50% percent Michigan grapes to make their wine.
Wine Trails in Michigan:

-Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail (13 wineries) -Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail (25 wineries) -Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail (8 wineries) -The Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail (7 wineries) -Southwest Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail (new, 9 wineries) -West Michigan Beer and Wine Trail (new, 13 wineries and cideries) -Bay View Wine Trail (new, six wineries) Growth stats:  Michigan ranked 5th in the nation in grape production and seventh in wine grape acreage for 2012.  The number of wineries in Michigan has doubled in the last ten years.  (Michigan Dept. of Agriculture.)

2. Ohio Wineries:  2013- 216 wineries (+17%)   2012- 185 wineries
Wineries listed by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC): 148

Why the difference?  The OGIC is the process of updating its directory and there are currently 177 wineries operating in Ohio. To be a licensed winery in Ohio, there is a limit of 40% bulk wine and that bulk wine must be blended and not sold as bottled wine.
Wine Trails in Ohio:
-Canal Country Wine Trail (23 wineries)
-Capital City Wine Trail (13 wineries)
Growth Stats:  There are 11 new wineries preparing to open in Ohio currently.

3.  Missouri Wineries: 2013- 167  wineries (+6%)  2012- 157 wineries Number of wineries according to the Missouri Wine and Grape Board 118 Why the difference?  The Missouri Wine and Grape Board counts only operating wineries.

Wine Trails in Missouri:
-Hermann Wine Trail (7 wineries, also do 5 themed trails per year)
-Kansas City Wine Trail (new, 8 wineries)
-Missouri Weinstrasse (4 wineries)
-Aux Arcs Wine Road (3 wineries)
Growth stats: Missouri now has 393 vineyards and over 1,600 acres of wine grapes.

4.  Illinois Wineries: 2013- 129 wineries (+2%)   2012- 126 wineries Wineries listed by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA): 99 Why the difference?  According to the IGGVA, wineries that have closed but still hold their federal permit or wineries that are starting up but not open yet account for most of the difference between the federal and state totals.

Wine trails in Illinois:
-Great River Wine Trail (9 wineries, 3 each in IA, WI and IL)
-Shawnee Hills Wine Trail (12 wineries)
Growth stats: Wine production in Illinois has increased by 16 percent over the past five years from 564,270 gallons in 2006 to 651,800 gallons in 2011. (source: IGGVA)
5.  Iowa Wineries: 2013- 106 wineries (+4%)  2012-102 wineries
Number of wineries according to the Midwest Grape and Wine Institute at Iowa State University:  95 Why the difference?  Iowa State released new data during July of 2013 which showed 95 wineries and 306 vineyards in the state.  There are wineries in Iowa that have permits but are not open for business. Wine Trails in Iowa:

-I80 Wine Trail (8 wineries)
-The Great River Wine Trail (9 wineries, 3 each in IA, WI and IL)
-The Iowa Wine Trail (new, 8 wineries)
Growth stat: More than twenty wineries have opened in Iowa since June, 2010 (source: Iowa State University)
6.  Wisconsin wineries : 2013- 104 wineries (+18%)  2012- 88 wineries

Wineries listed by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism: 45
Wineries listed by The Wisconsin Winery Association: 56
Why the difference? The Wisconsin Department of Tourism said they believe the actual number of wineries in Wisconsin is closer to the number reported by the Wisconsin Winery Association (56.)
Wine Trails in Wisconsin:
-Great River Road Wine Trail (9 wineries, including 3 in MN and 1 in IA)
-Great River Wine Trail - (9 wineries, three each in IA, WI and IL)
-Door County Wine Trail (seven wineries)
-Driftless Region Wine Trail (new, 2 wineries)
Growth stat:  From 2005 to 2011, an average of over nine new vineyards were opened each year in Wisconsin (Wis Agricultural Statistics Service)
7.  Kentucky Wineries: 2013- 81 wineries (+3%)  2012- 79 wineries
Wineries listed by the Kentucky Wine Website: 63

Wine Trails in Kentucky:
-Back Roads Wine Trail (5 wineries)
Growth stat:  The grape and wine industry has seen tremendous growth in the past ten years, with grapevine acreage growing from 67 acres in 1999 to an estimated 600 acres today. (Source: Kentucky Wine)

8.  Indiana Wineries:  2013- 73 wineries (no change)  2012- 73 wineries Wineries listed by the Indiana Wineries website produced by Purdue University: 69 Why the difference?  The small difference is attributed to wineries that have TTB permits but have not yet opened.

Wine Trails in Indiana:
-Indy Wine Trail (7 wineries)
-The Indiana Wine Trail (6 wineries)
-Hoosier Wine Trail (new, 8 wineries)
Growth stat:  In 1989, there were nine wineries in Indiana.  (source: Purdue University)
9.  Minnesota Wineries: 2013: 69 wineries (+19%)   2012- 58 wineries Number of wineries according to the Minnesota Grape Growers Association (MGGA):  41 as of summer 2012 Why the difference? According the MGGA, while there are more than 60 licensed wineries in Minnesota, only 41 wineries are open to the public and hold regular tasting hours. The others range from being operations with facilities for amateur winemakers to wineries that make their own wine for online sales.  In addition,  there are wineries in Minnesota that have federal permits but have not yet opened.

Wine Trails in Minnesota:
- Lake Pepin Wine Trail (new, 4 wineries)
Growth stat:  There were only two commercial wineries in Minnesota in 1990 (source: Twincities.com)
10.  Nebraska Wineries:  2013 - 34 wineries (+3%)  2012- 33 wineries Number of wineries according to the Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Association: 35

Wine Trails in Nebraska:
Growth stat:  Cuthills Vineyard opened in 1994 to revive the Nebraska wine making tradition which had been dormant since Prohibition.

11. Kansas Wineries:  2013- 36  wineries (+17%)  2012- 31 wineries Number of wineries according to the Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Association (KGWWA): 22 Why the difference?  KGGWA only lists member wineries; also several of the wineries on the TTB list have closed.  A KGWWA official estimated 32 producing wineries in Kansas currently.

Wine Trails in Kansas:
-Somerset Wine Trail (3 wineries)
Growth stat:  Nine wineries have opened in Kansas since 2010.  (source: Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition.)
 See related story: Wine Trail Marketing Ideas  
About Mark Ganchiff

Mark Ganchiff is the publisher of Midwest Wine Press in Chicago, the leading source of news on the growing wine industry in the central United States. Mark has been a wine judge at the 2012 INDY International Wine Competition, the 2013 Mid-American Wine Competition, the 2012 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition and the 2013 Michigan Wine Competition. He also enjoys speaking at wine events including the Cold Climate Wine Conference, the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association Annual Meeting, the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference and the Wisconsin Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Mark’s articles about regional wine have appeared in Vineyard & Winery Management, WineMaker and Our Mississippi magazines.

Comments

  1. Great article,Mark.

    Thanks,again,for the coverage!

    • Mark Ganchiff says:

      Laurie,

      Our pleasure, we appreciate the support of the best regional wineries, like Gill’s Pier in the B-U-tiful Leelanau Peninsula.

      Mark G.

  2. Just an FYI, the “wine trails” mentioned under Ohio are really not representative because they are managed by the “members only” group, the Ohio Wine Producers Association, and thus not valid for all Ohio wineries which are represented by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee.

    • Mark Ganchiff says:

      Nancy,

      That’s a good point. In Ohio and other states, state wine assocations, like the Ohio Wine Producers Association, maintain websites for certain wine trails. For winetrails without websites and events calendars, it’s sometimes hard to determine how active the wine trails are. However, we did not want to leave anyone off the list.

  3. Mark,
    FYI, MN now has its newest wine trail that is actually an intra-state with WI. Three MN wineries and two WI.
    http://upperstcroixwinetrail.com/

    Thanks,
    Irv

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