Reestablishing Iowa's Grape Industry:
Beginning in 2000, Iowa has seen a dramatic rise in interest in growing grapes for wine. In 2001, to meet the demand for grape growing information, ISU Extension, with a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, presented a grape growing workshop to 210 registered participants. The workshop stimulated the formation of the Iowa Grape Growers Association (now the Iowa Wine Growers Association), and the development of a state-wide annual conference that annually draws over 200 participants. Also in 2001, a viticulture web site (http://viticulture.hort.iastate.edu
) was developed to make available materials from workshops, conferences and regional meetings, provide research updates, links to other web sites, listings of resources, and an events calendar. These efforts have assisted the industry as it has grown from less than 30 reported acres in 2000 to over 230 vineyards encompassing over 500 estimated acres in 2004, and the establishment of 22 recently bonded wineries. Drs. Domoto and Nonnecke, and Mr. Mike White (Ext. crop specialist) provide leadership from ISU and work closely with regional USDA-RC&D's around the state. Drs. Domoto and Nonnecke also are cooperating with the ISU Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC) to develop a web-based interactive decision model for determining economic feasibility of growing grapes and establishing a small winery for wine and grape juice.