Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program to provide funding to Ohio grape producers

Ohio grape producers can now apply for their share of $40,000 through the Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program, which is made available by monies secured by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

The program allows for a more stable source of high-quality, high-value grapes for Ohio’s wineries, farmers markets and other retail outlets. It also enables more Ohio wines to qualify for the Ohio Quality Wine Program, which identifies the best wines in Ohio made with 90 percent or more Ohio-grown grapes.

Reimbursement is offered to encourage growers to establish new grape vineyards or expand existing vineyards in Ohio. Growers may apply for up to $2,000 per acre, for a maximum of three acres. Applications must be completed and postmarked by Oct. 22, 2010.

The Ohio Grape Industries Committee, created in 1982 and operated in-part through the Ohio Department of Agriculture, provides marketing and research opportunities to Ohio’s wineries and vineyards. The committee helps increase consumer awareness of Ohio’s high-quality wine industry.

For a complete list of eligibility guidelines, or for an application, visit www.tasteohiowines.com.

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