Iowa’s wine industry has grown from 13 wineries in 2001 to 28 in 2004 as more Iowans look for a niche agriculture market. Mary Holz-Clause of the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center at Iowa State University says there’s room for even more wineries. But she says pressing grapes into wine isn’t something you can decide to do one day, and jump into the next.She says it almost takes four years from the time you plant the grapes until you get any kind of reliable grape production. If you’re working with red wines, it’s another year or two after you bottle them, so it’s five to six years before you actually are able to sell the product. Kolz-Clause says the startup cost of a winery is something that has to get a lot of consideration. She says there’s a long window that is capital intensive, because the product isn’t ready right away, you have to have the capital to carry the operation until you can start selling wine. Iowa wine production was nearly 78-thousand gallons in 2004.
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