Frozen grapes are harvested before dawn to make ice wine.

Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program open to Ohio Vineyards

The 2022 Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program (VEAP) is now open to new and existing Ohio vineyards. VEAP allows wineries to invest in and plant high-quality, high-value grapes onsite instead of purchasing them from other states. The VEAP is an incentive program created and funded by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC).

Due to the small number of grapes produced in Ohio, many wineries, farmers markets, and retailers are forced to purchase grapes of several different varieties from other states in order to meet production needs. The VEAP is designed to provide a more stable source of high-quality, high-value grapes grown in Ohio. Additionally, the program will allow for more Ohio wines to qualify for the Ohio Quality Wine (OQW) program and increase consumer awareness of Ohio’s premier wines made from Ohio-grown grapes.

The VEAP funding will cover the cost of the grape vines planted. Each grower may apply for up to $1,500 per half-acre with a maximum of three acres, or $9,000. Only growers in Ohio may apply for the assistance and the planting must occur in the spring of 2023. All applications must be completed and received by the OGIC by Thursday, June 30, 2022. To receive a copy of the application, please contact Christy Eckstein at christy.eckstein@agri.ohio.gov.

Ohio is the sixth largest wine producer in the country, with just over 1,500 acres of vineyards producing and selling 1.2 million gallons, or 500,000 cases, of wine annually. There are currently 370 licensed wine manufacturers across the state, creating more than 8,000 full-time jobs for Ohioans. VEAP is managed by OGIC, which was established in 1981 and operates in-part through the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Learn more about Ohio wines here.

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