Governor Wolf Announces $1 Million in PLCB Grants for Developing, Promoting Pennsylvania Wines

July 17, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has approved grants totaling $1 million to nine projects intended to enhance the Pennsylvania wine industry and increase production of Pennsylvania-made wines.

“Agriculture and tourism are key to the commonwealth’s economic success and job creation,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “More than 1 million people visit Pennsylvania wineries each year, boosting our economy and introducing visitors to the unique beauty and experiences Pennsylvania has to offer. That’s why supporting our winemakers and the researchers who enhance the winemaking process is so important.”

Act 39 of 2016 expanded the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Board and authorized the PLCB to approve up to $1 million annually for wine promotion. Since the first wine grants were approved in 2017, the PLCB has awarded nearly $4 million in grants to support the Pennsylvania wine industry.

“The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is pleased to provide $1 million in grants to assist in-state winemakers,” said PLCB Chairman Tim Holden. “These grants will support industry research, help wine producers to grow superior grapes, and allow for additional resources to promote their products. Winemaking is a thriving business in the commonwealth and continues to expand.”

The following grant projects were recommended for approval by the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Board for fiscal year 2019-20.

Grant Project Grantee Grant Amount
Pennsylvania Wine Land Statewide Marketing & Promotions: Continuation and new investments in the Pennsylvania Wine Land consumer marketing campaign, development of a new PA Wines Guide and sustaining investment in Pennsylvania Wine Trails grants PA Winery Association $422,082
Defining Regional Typicity of Gruner Veltliner Wines: Continuation of a multi-year project aiming to characterize the environmental, viticultural, and sensory factors that define signature characteristics of Grüner Veltliner wines and develop marketing strategies to appeal to current and potential Grüner Veltliner drinkers, extending field and wine evaluations to the 2019 vintage. The Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences $124,849
Improving Tannin Extraction in Wines Made from Red lnterspecific Hybrid (Vitis ssp.) Grapes: Proof of concept trials and winemaking exploring enzyme concentrations and combinations, as well as pre-fermentation maceration conditions, in order to enhance the tannin structure of wines made from red hybrid grapes, thereby improving the quality and stability of such wines. The Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences $89,782
Consumer Attitudes and Purchasing Behaviors Toward PA Wines, Wineries, and Retail Wine Marketing Programs: Comprehensive, four-step consumer market research study blending a review of secondary data, focus groups, graduate study taste comparisons between Pennsylvania wines and wines from elsewhere, and an online survey of hundreds of Pennsylvania residents to analyze and understand the characteristics and motivations of Pennsylvania wine consumers. Saint Joseph’s University $89,110
Boosting Polyfunctional Thiols and Other Aroma Compounds in White Hybrid Wines Through Foliar Nitrogen and Sulfur Application: Continuation of a multi-year study evaluating the impact of foliar nitrogen and sulfur spraying as potentially low-cost viticultural practices to improve quality and profitability of white hybrid cultivar Traminette. The Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences $80,828
What do Consumers Look for in PA Wines? A Mixed-Methods Approach to Study the Importance of Regionality and Hybrid Grapes: A study of consumer perception of Pennsylvania-grown wines, with a focus on the importance of regionality and attitudes toward hybrid wines, utilizing consumer focus groups and a product categorization exercise among Pennsylvania wine consumers. The Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences $63,286
Does Delaying Bud Burst Reduce the Risk of Frost Damage While Maintaining Grape and Wine Quality? Year three of this research comparing the effectiveness of two frost avoidance strategies (application of Amigo oil, a food grade vegetable oil-based adjuvant, versus delayed winter pruning) on delaying the onset of budburst in order to avoid crop losses and delays in fruit ripening caused by post-budburst The Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences $42,152
Evaluating the Impact of Under-Trellis Groundcover Practices on Winegrape Production Profitability and Sustainability: Continuation of research into a sustainable weed suppression alternative to herbicides exploring if the alternative practices are sustainable, which strategies lead to the highest-quality grapes, and whether consumers are receptive to higher prices for wine produced using environmentally friendly practices. The Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences $41,110

Act 39 also created the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board and authorized the PLCB to approve and fund up to $1 million annually for development and marketing of the Pennsylvania beer industry. The PLCB awarded the inaugural round of grants supporting Pennsylvania’s beer industry in February 2018, with grants for 13 projects totaling nearly $705,000. The second rounds of grants – a total of $791,412 for 12 projects – were issued in December 2018.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling $16.5 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit

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