Skip to main content

Minn. wine industry booming, but is it sustainable?

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A study by the University of Minnesota Extension shows state-made wine grew to a nearly $60 million industry and created 3,250 jobs in 2011, but experts question how it will continue to thrive.

Minnesota wineries sold 540,000 bottles in the same year, but only about 15 percent of those sales were made in liquor stores. The majority of wine, 63 percent, was purchased at wineries and their tasting rooms, which host special events such as weddings or live music.

Local wines make up only about 1 percent of state wine sales, according to a MinnPost report.

"This is very much a customer-comes-to-us scenario. To grow, they'll need to look at other ways to make those sales," extension researcher Brigid Tuck said in a news release.

There's no doubt the industry has grown in the last two decades. MinnPost points out that in 1990, there were two licensed wineries and fewer than 20 vineyards in the state. Now, those numbers have grown to more than 60 wineries and 600 vineyards.

The study shows that nearly half the grapes growing in Minnesota were planted after 2007 and half of vineyards surveyed said they planned to increase their acreage.

Katie Cook, an enologist at the University of Minnesota, told MinnPost that the state's wine industry is still very young and "in the middle of a classic adolescent identity crisis."

Cold-climate wines tend to be lighter, lower in alcohol, more acidic and sweeter. Cook said she can see Minnesota’s future as a specialty wine region, one that may someday become known for light ros�� and high-quality dessert wines, but it's not there yet.

Next Up

19050650853_a4a6377429_k

Ed Sheeran to bring North America stadium tour to Minneapolis

It's the second show announced for the Vikings stadium in 2023.

Kim Crockett

GOP candidate Kim Crockett won't commit to accepting election result

Crockett has been a proponent of conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 presidential election.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.41.39 AM

Charges: Man carjacked father, daughter as they loaded groceries outside Cub

The father grappled with the suspect after he had pointed a gun at his daughter.

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 8.25.27 PM

Pilot, brother and sister killed when plane crashed into house are ID'd

The plane crashed into a house in Hermantown, Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 7.18.52 PM

Rolled semi, livestock on freeway interchange in Woodbury

Traffic cameras showed what appeared to be hogs on the side of the road.

Eric Reinbold

Reinbold guilty of murdering wife with 'particular cruelty'

Eric Reinbold, 46, was convicted of two counts of murder in the second degree in Pennington County Friday.

police tape

Armed assault suspect arrested after standoff in Waite Park

The standoff ended early Saturday when officer obtained a warrant for the home.

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 9.06.25 AM

3 dead after plane crashes into house in Hermantown

Two people in the house were uninjured.

FeDh7pUWAAg3NMd

Destructive fire at Maple Grove greenhouse and nursery

The fire burned early Sunday morning at a longtime Maple Grove greenhouse and nursery.

st. cloud state university hockey

SCSU player hospitalized after being taken off ice on stretcher

Luedtke was checked into the boards in the first period and down for a reported 10-15 minutes.

Amber alert wisconsin

Amber Alert for Kryssy King canceled, suspect still at large

Police beleived 15-year-old Kryssy King was with a 22-year-old man who remains wanted.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 10.18.12 AM

3 St. Paul fast food restaurants robbed in space of an hour

The thieves struck between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Related

U of M researchers join effort to help cold-climate wine industry thrive

A grant from the federal Agriculture Department is helping researchers in cold-climate states look at ways they can help develop the region's wine industry. The University of Minnesota says the state has more than three dozen wineries and the industry is growing fast.