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.
- 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.
–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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.