Indiana wine is de-vine for the economy
Indiana’s wine and grape industry, much like the product it produces, has been aging well, packing an estimated $604 million in total economic impact in 2016, according to a report commissioned by the Indiana Wine Grape Council, Purdue University Wine Grape Team and the Indiana Winery and Vineyard Association.
“What this study helped determine, and further confirm, is that the state is continuing to move forward in all aspects of the industry — from grape growing, to winemaking styles and techniques, to getting the word out about Indiana wines,” said Katie Barnett, Purdue wine grape marketing Extension specialist.
According to the report, the number of bonded wineries in the state grew from 73 in 2011 to 116 in 2016. In contrast, the state had just 31 wineries in 2001. Hoosier wineries produced almost 2.4 million gallons of wine in 2016.
“That growth has had an impact that extends outside the industry and into communities throughout the state,” Barnett said. “For example, the study estimates that in 2016 Indiana had more than 630,000 wine-related tourists, and tourism expenditures related to wine were $94 million.”
“Tourism growth has a high correlation to the increase in the number of Indiana wineries and continued improvement in wine quality, providing more destinations and opportunities for visitors to experience Indiana wine country,” the report’s authors said.
Indiana Grown, a branding initiative of the Indiana Department of Agriculture, launched a new wine trail in May that includes wineries in northeast Indiana. Natives and visitors to the state can visit indianagrown.org and download a map of the wine trail, which will be updated as new wineries join.
The wine trail tourism effort currently includes 30 wineries with varying products and options.
“This trail provides the opportunity to experience all that Indiana’s winemakers have to offer in a fun and exciting way,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We have some of the best wineries in the country, and I encourage Hoosiers to go find their new favorite wine.”
Among northeast Indiana wineries on the trail are Two EE’s in Huntington; Country Heritage Winery in Laotto; and Satek Winery in Fremont.