In 1989 the Indiana General Assembly established the Indiana Wine Grape Council. The Council's goal is to enhance economic development in the state by establishing a successful wine grape industry through research and marketing development.
Since the inception of the council, Indiana wine sales have grown by more than 15% each year and now contribute more than $72 million to the state's economy – an investment that has more than paid off. Every gallon of wine sold in Indiana provides 5 cents in excise taxes. A portion of these funds are used to support the Council as well as the salaries of the members of the Purdue Wine Grape team.
The Purdue Wine Grape team was founded in 1991 and is part of The Purdue College of Agriculture. It includes Purdue Extension specialists in enology (winemaking), viticulture (grape growing), and marketing who assist commercial and amateur grape growers and winemakers.
Faculty and Staff include: Christian Butzke, Enology Professor at Purdue; Bruce Bordelon, Viticulture Professor at Purdue; Jill Blume, Enology Specialist and Jeanette Merritt, Marketing Director. Working together with Indiana wineries their goal is to propel the Indiana wine grape industry into world-class competitiveness.
Since 1989, the number of wineries in the state has increased dramatically. There are currently 71 wineries in Indiana, with the newest being Trader's Point Winery in Indianapolis. These wineries grow grapes on 650 acres, a more than 300% increase since 1991.
Today, Indiana wine production exceeds 1 million gallons a year (5 million bottles), up from 40,000 gallons a year when the team was established.
For more information, visit the Council's website.