SoVA Vineyard Development and Expansion Project Will Support Virginia’s Wine Industry
Applications Currently Being Accepted
Richmond, VA – Virginia’s wine industry is booming, but rapid growth has brought on its share of problems. The number of wineries in Virginia has increased dramatically over the past decade yet vineyard expansion has not kept up with the pace. This has left winemakers without enough Virginia grown grapes to ensure that all wineries can meet the 75% requirement to have their wines labeled as Virginia grown.
Seeing the opportunity to support a vibrant and growing industry, the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission awarded an $811,526 AgriBusiness grant to Pittsylvania County which will work in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Vineyards Association to address the issue. This will be achieved primarily by entering into cost-sharing agreements with those interested in developing a vineyard to offset capital costs associated with the planting of new vineyard acreage. The program will reimburse applicants for up to 33% of qualifying expenditures. Applications for new vineyard development are being accepted through February 15th, 2017 and landowners willing to develop new acres of vineyard are encouraged to apply.
Ashley Nauta, District Extension Agent and Vineyards Project Coordinator for Virginia Cooperative Extension said, “This program offers an exciting opportunity for landowners in the Southside Region of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, and these cost share funds are vitally important as our producers consider the capital investments associated with vineyard establishment. Virginia Cooperative Extension is fortunate to play a role in implementation of this program, in partnership with Pittsylvania County, Virginia Vineyards Association, Virginia Tech and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, and we look forward to the positive impacts it will have on Virginia’s Wine Industry.”
The overall success and potential for continued growth of the Virginia wine industry present a unique opportunity for long term job growth and investment in Southern and Southwest Virginia. This aligns perfectly with the Tobacco Commission’s long term goal of developing a diverse economy in the regions it serves.
Tobacco Commission Agri-Business Committee Member, Delegate Thomas C. Wright, Jr. added, “I am very pleased that the AgriBusiness Committee awarded and the Tobacco Commission approved the $811,526.00 grant, that will assist our Virginia vineyards increase production of grapes for an already booming wine industry in Virginia.”
For more information about the cost-share program, including how to apply, please contact Ashley Nauta, Vineyards Project Coordinator at 434-432-7770 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Jordan Butler
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