Study: Hoosier Wine Industry Keeps Growing

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(photo courtesy Two-EE's Winery) (photo courtesy Two-EE's Winery)
WEST LAFAYETTE -

A new study shows Indiana's wine and grape industry is continuing its forward momentum. The report says the industry generated $604 million in economic impact in 2016.

The report, commissioned by the Indiana Wine Grape Council, Purdue University Wine Grape Team and the Indiana Winery and Vineyard Association, says Hoosier wineries produced nearly 2.4 million gallons of wine in 2016. The number of wineries in Indiana has increased from 73 in 2011 to 116 in 2016.

"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. "That growth has had an impact that extends outside the industry and into communities throughout the state."

Barnett says Indiana saw more than 630,000 wine-related tourists in 2016, with tourism spending related to wine totaling $94 million. She says one of the main factors in promoting and growing the wine and grape industry has been the INDY International Wine Competition, which wrapped up this year's event last month and is considered to be the largest scientifically-organized and independent wine competition in the country.

Purdue cites some other highlights from the report, which include:

  • The wine industry paid $37 million in state and local taxes and $38 million in federal taxes.
  • The industry supported 3,900 full-time equivalent jobs, with total paid wages of $120 million.
  • The retail value of wine produced in the state was $95 million, and vineyard revenue was $590,000.
  • In support of the wine industry's tourism impact was a labor force of 1,649 employees with total wages of $35 million.
  • In addition to the state's 116 wineries and tasting rooms were 600 acres dedicated to grape production.
  • Indiana was the nation's 11th largest producer of bottled wine by gallon, according to data from the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau. 

Eric Harris, owner of Two-EE's Winery in Roanoke, says the continued growth of wine producers in the state shows Indiana's potential to become a national competitor for quality and uniqueness within the wine industry.

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