Wine producers of Midwestern are trying to obtain federal permit for establishing the largest winemaking region of the US that will include four states.
Vintners from Midwest (USA) are seeking federal approval for a viticulture area spreading over 29,000 Sq. Miles and covering four states. If approved, it is expected to be the largest winemaking region in the USA.
Dorothy O’Brien, owner of Iowa-based Wide River Winery, stated, “The number of vineyards per square mile is a lot smaller in our region so we have to take in a larger area,” reported Fresnobee on June 13, 2009. O’Brien further said that it would also be beneficial for the tourism industry of the region.
It is noted that there are around 65 wineries in Iowa, most of which are supporting the proposal as they think to get benefitted by the approval of the proposal.
If the proposal gets sanctioned by the Treasury Department’s Tax and Trade Bureau, the label of wine produced there could reflect the name of that viticultural area. In return, a minimum of 85% grapes used in wine production must be from that area itself. This will help in increasing awareness of the distinct identity of the wines manufactured in the region.
In addition to other things, the applicants would also have to show that their region is having unique soil, terrain and climate. For instance, the application of the Upper Mississippi River Valley boasts of rocky soils on the region’s steep slopes and says that the there is difference between the region’s wine varieties and those produced in Washington and California. Moreover, the planned designation at the Upper Mississippi River Valley is expected to cover wine from southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin.
The new viticulture region would at least surpass anything in the state of California in terms of size. The region would be five folds bigger than California’s largest region, the North Coast. It would also outclass the biggest viticulture area – the Ohio River Valley region – which spreads through an area of 26,000 Sq. Miles.
It is learnt that 107 viticultural areas have already been running in California, ranging from as big as Sierra Foothills (2.6 Million Acre) to as moderate as Sonoma Valley (4,000 Acre).