Virginia Tech wins $3.8 mil from USDA to stimulate eastern wine industry
on 31/10/10 at 8:50 pmIndustry
The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded $3.8 million to researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech to lead a multistate effort to further improve grape and wine quality in the eastern United States.
According to Tony Wolf, professor of viticulture and project director, the five-year project seeks to create, refine, and encourage industry adoption of grape and wine production practices that integrate research-based recommendations with key market drivers to achieve a robust and sustainable grape and wine industry in the region.
“In order to increase wine sales in the eastern United States, including Virginia, wine grapes and wines must be of consistently high quality, and they must be produced on a cost-competitive basis,” said Wolf.
Virginia currently ranks fifth nationally in wine grape production, and its grape and wine industry has a total economic impact of more than $362 million per year. In addition to strengthening rural communities through employment and spin-off benefits to the service sector, the state’s vineyards and 180 wineries attract tourism and help preserve green space.