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Local Winery Owners Say ‘Wine Month’ Proclamation is Significant

Posted: Saturday, November 28th, 2009 at 6:35 am
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Governor Culver proclaimed this November as Iowa Wine Month; an effort that the owners of local wineries say is significant for the state’s wine industry. Bob Wersen, owner of Tassel Ridge Winery near Leighton, says the proclamation shows that Iowa Wineries are making an impact in the state.

“I think that this is a good indication of the recognition of the importance of the nascent Iowa wine industry,” says Wersen. “I think that a lot of people are sitting up and paying attention to the fact that we’re really bringing something – not only economically, but in a variety of other areas to our state.”

Wersen adds that Iowa wines are significant in that they provide another way for consumers to purchase locally produced products.

“People generally prefer to eat local,” says Wersen. “A growing number of people pay attention to what they’re eating in Iowa and they prefer to eat local, and this gives them a chance to drink local.”

Rod Haworth owns Grape Escape in Pleasantville. He says with over 86 licensed wineries and 1500-plus acres of vineyards, Iowa’s wine industry has grown rapidly; particularly in the past ten years. Haworth adds that the challenge for local wineries is to get people to try little known local brands as Iowa’s market grows.