Nov 2, 2011 at 8:32 am
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - University of Minnesota researchers have joined a multi-state effort to help the cold-climate wine industry shine.
The university began releasing cold-hardy grapes in the 1970s, but researchers are now looking at how to help the wine industry in the Upper Midwest and Northeast take the next steps toward economic viability.
Aided by a new $2.5 million federal grant, researchers in a 13-state consortium based at Cornell University are tacking obstacles to bringing cold-hardy wines to a wider market.
Minnesota has more than three dozen wineries, some of which market their products to tourists. U of M horticulturist Jim Luby says they've made enormous strides but there's still room for much more growth. Most are in rural communities, so Luby says helping them helps the economy of Greater Minnesota.