Dr. Paul Read with the University of Nebraska IANR provided the program today at our Kiwanis meeting. His subject was the Nebraska Grape and Wine Industry. The number of Wineries in the State has increased from just a very few 20 years ago, to some 30 today. His Department works with Producers in the selection of cultivars, with wineries in production of various wines, and the promotion of the industry. The University carries out research on various varieties just as has been done over the years with Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Milo and other Agricultural grains.
He asked our thoughts on the percentage of wine from the Napa Valley related to the total sold in California and announced it was only 4%. He also told of California being the leading state beyond Nebraska for the consumption of our State Wines. It varies according to varieties but normally a crop can be harvested during the 3rd year after planting. It may take a bit longer to reach full production of 4 to 5 tons/acre. The wineries are currently paying around $1,500.00/ton. (75 cents/pound). Our White Wines are in higher demand than the reds at this time.