Grapes are being grown in parts of Missouri that once were considered wrong for grapes, part of a wine boom in one of the nation’s leading wine states.
All 50 states have wineries now; grapes are grown in 44 of them. Missouri ranks eighth in gallons of wine produced. and in the top twelve in acres of grapes.
The head of the state agriculture department’s wine program, Jim Anderson, says Missouri has grown from 40 wineries to 118 in the last seven to ten years. He expects Missouri to have 125 wineries a year from now.
He says a lot of wineries are mom and pop operations that started out as hobby wineries He says many people getting into the industry have been successful in other businesses and love turning grapes into wine.
He says Missouri’s 118 wineries squeeze about one-milion gallons of wine a year out of grapes grown on 17-hundred acres. He thinks the sharp growth in wineries will slow down in another year or two. But Anderson thinks the industry will continue to grow.