Iowa State University Releases Iowa Production Report
The rapid expansion of the Iowa wine industry is slowing according to Craig Tordsen, a Project Manager at Iowa State University and the author a newly released study on Iowa Native Wine Production and Sales. According to Tordsen, the leveling off of Iowa wine production has had a positive side effect: supply and demand for Iowa wine are now in equilibrium after years of overproduction. “During the final years of the last decade, we had a lot of new wineries in Iowa, as many as 10 to 12 a year were opening” Tordsen said. “Now that trend is slowing.”
Tordsen said another sign of the maturation of the Iowa wine industry is the increase in wine sales from wineries directly to retailers and wholesalers. (Wineries in Iowa can self distribute regardless of size.) Tasting room sales are still important according to Tordsen, but distribution channels for Iowa wineries are becoming more diversified. According to the study, the percentage of wine sold in the tasting room has declined from 55% in 2009 to 42% in 2011.
Demand for locally produced wine in Iowa has increased steadily since 2005 along with the number of wineries. As of June 2011, almost 6% of the wine purchased in Iowa was made in Iowa by the state’s 97 wineries. According to drinklocalwine.com, there were just 13 wineries in Iowa in 2000. The largest concentration of Iowa wineries is in Warren County, south of Des Moines, according to Iowa State University reports.
For a complete version of the Iowa State University report, please visit their website at extension.iastate.edu