Wine sales increased by seven percent in Iowa in the last fiscal year that ended in July. Lynn Walding, the administrator of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, says the increase continues a trend. Walding says wine has continued to have "significant growth," and he says the average price paid for wine has probably gone up. He says you’ll now see wine at the end of the aisle in retail stores where customers can easily acquire it.
Walding says more information has helped consumers feel more confident about purchasing wine. Walding says wine has a "more mature draw" and is marketed to older adults who have maybe shifted from beer. "Some of the resistance to going into wine in the past has been the necessary education to understand it," Walding says, "it’s and easier product to understand nowadays, with the packaging and all the critter names."
Walding says wines made in the state are part of the new interest in the beverage. He says Iowa wines continue to be a popular choice among consumers, and there are a lot of educational programs going on. Walding says Des Moines Area Community College for example, is holding a "Wine and Swine" event to talk about wine and pork together, and he says the state has done some things to help wineries.
Walding says the wineries in the state contribute to the increasing understanding of wines by the consumers. Walding says, "The advantage of an in-state winery is that they’re able to not only provide the product to consumers, they’re able to educate the consumers." Iowa now has over two dozen wineries in the state.