More holiday tables might be featuring Nebraska wines this year.
Lori Paulsen, Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Association executive director, says 2017 has been a good year for the industry.
“The grape harvest in the State of Nebraska was excellent,” Paulsen tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We had great quality and we had great yields.”
She says the National Association of American Wineries estimates Nebraska wineries had an $873 million economic impact in the state this year.
“Nebraska wine industry directly employs about 4,700 people in different ways,” she explains.
Nebraska has about 100 grape growers and 31 licensed wineries with total annual wages of $248,862,700.
“We saw about an $8.1 million in annual tourism expenditures, specifically from wine visits,” Paulsen says.
The national report shows state business and consumption tax revenue totaled a little more than $54 million.
Nebraska’s wine industry is changing, specifically the number of producers is shrinking.
“We’ve seen those numbers consolidate over the last 20 years, so there’s fewer grape growers, but those grape growers are growing the acreage needed in order to supply Nebraskan wine,” Paulsen notes.
The state has nearly 180 acres of vineyards.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:44]