Iowa Agriculture Secretary Patty Judge has formed a new advisory council to try and boost the production of grapes in the state. Judge says she found out Iowa’s cold weather doesn’t have to put a chill on grape and wine productionShe says she found out southern Iowa used to be a prominent grape production area.Iowa currently has 30 acres of grapes with two vineyards and nine bonded wineries. Judge says one acre of grapes is worth two-thousand dollars. That same acre converted to wine is worth an estimated 30-thousand dollars. Judge says growing grapes could be just the niche market Iowa producers are looking for.Judge says the winneries in Iowa now have to import grapes to meet their needs. She hopes the new council can promote the growth of the grape industry and squeeze out the need for importing grapes.
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