Midwestern Winemakers Seek Own Appellation

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And why not? As the article says is good for tourism!  And they have lots of rocky hills.  And the state was sixth in grape production nationwide.  Back in 1919!  But then again, it does take a big step toward a better organized wine industry in the area.  Good luck to them.
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BY MICHAEL DOYLE

MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

WASHINGTON — The roster of beloved winemaking regions rolls right off the tongue. Napa. Sonoma. Mendocino. Washington state's Columbia Valley.

Now try sipping on this: the Upper Mississippi River Valley.

Audacious Midwestern winemakers are trying to secure federal recognition for a viticultural area sprawling over four states and 29,000 square miles. If it's approved, it would be the largest designated winemaking region in the country.

"The number of vineyards per square mile is a lot smaller in our region," Iowa-based winemaker Dorothy O'Brien said Wednesday, "so we have to take in a larger area."

O'Brien owns the Wide River Winery, commercially established four years ago on the bluffs above the Mississippi River near Clinton, Iowa. Producing wines with names such as Felony Red and Blushing Testimony, it's one of roughly 65 wineries in Iowa, many of whose owners think they'd benefit if Uncle Sam gives them a nod.

"It would be good for tourism," O'Brien predicted.

Read the rest of article  http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/1092165.html

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