Oklahoma has more than 62 wineries, up from just three wineries in 2000 when State Question 688 established winery tasting rooms. The state ranks 31st in wine production and produces an average of 4,000 cases of wine per year.
There are approximately 139 commercial vineyards operating 439 acres of bearing-age grape vines. Demand for Oklahoma-grown grapes far exceeds the current supply. This relatively young industry is valued at $98.5 million in economic impact to the state and supports 840 full-time equivalent jobs. These are just some of the findings of a recent study of 2010 data conducted by Frank, Rimerman and Co., LLP recognized as the leading research source on the US wine industry.
The Oklahoma Grape Industry Council (OGIC), a nonprofit representing 90 percent of the state’s commercial grape and wine industry, used a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to study the economic impact of vineyards and wineries in Oklahoma. Grant applications were evaluated on measurable outcomes and return on investment. Funds were awarded for projects that solely benefited a particular commercial product or provided a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.
Results of the study are useful to OGIC which is comprised of more than 200 small businesses adding value to Oklahoma through rural economic development, specialty crop agriculture, agritourism and quality of life enhancement. OGIC will use the study to pursue its educational, marketing and governmental goals for growth of the grape and wine industry.
For more information about the Oklahoma Grape Industry Council, contact Gene Clifton at (405) 203-3277 or [email protected].