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

June 27, 2018

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

“Research is vital to the continued, successful growth of the state’s rapidly expanding wine industry,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “These grants are an important investment in the future of a vibrant, dynamic part of Pennsylvania’s agricultural portfolio.”

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. The first round of grants – a total of $999,394 for 13 projects – were issued by the PLCB in May 2017, and the second rounds of grants awarded $999,989 to seven projects in May 2018.

“The third fiscal year under Act 39 begins July 1, and the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Board has streamlined its grant application and review process such that we’re now in a position to award grants to align better with our fiscal year” said Board Chairman Tim Holden. “Approving grants in advance of or at the beginning of a fiscal year also allows grantees to plan their projects and funding with greater predictability.”

“These investments in Pennsylvania’s wine industry come at a critical time,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “The state’s $4.8 billion wine industry is threatened by a destructive and rapidly spreading invasive insect, the Spotted Lanternfly. Some of these research dollars will complement the work of our department and federal and private sector partners to support and protect the industry, and build on the $3 million in the 2018-19 budget dedicated to controlling the pest.”

The following grant projects were recommended for approval by the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Board for fiscal year 2018-19.

Grant Project Grantee Grant Amount
Analysis of Invasive Insect Pests in the Lake Erie Region to Characterize Abundance and Seasonal Emergence Patterns: Continued study of invasive insects that threaten the grape growing industry to allow growers to make more informed pest-management decisions. Jody H. Timer, Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center, The Pennsylvania State University $7,353
Residual Decline and Efficacy of Commonly Used Insecticides Against Spotted Wing Drosophilia in Pennsylvania Wine Grapes: Continuing research into common insecticides used to combat this invasive vinegar fly, one of the most serious pest threats to thin-skinned fruits like grapes. Jody H. Timer, Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center, The Pennsylvania State University $11,105
Survey for Grapevine Leafroll Viruses in Pennsylvania: Continued research into viruses infecting grapevines and negatively impacting fruit and wine quality. This study will explore how the viruses spread, what impact the viruses have on grapevines and fruit quality, and how best to manage the viruses to minimize their impact. Bryan Hed, Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center, The Pennsylvania State University $38,402
Impact of Spotted Lanternfly on Quality of PA Wines: Study of this invasive pest to determine its impacts on wine toxicity, quality and palatability. Research will result in recommendations to winegrowers regarding production of wine impacted by the Spotted Lanternfly. The Pennsylvania State University:
Dr. Molly Kelly, Penn State Cooperative Extension
Dr. Michela Centinari, Department of Plant Science
Dr. Julie Urban and Dr. Jared Gregory, Department of Entomology
$49,999
Exploring the Impact of Native or “Wild” Yeast Biodiversity on Wine Quality of a Red Hybrid Variety, Chambourcin: As wine makers’ interest in historic winemaking practices like noninoculated fermentation grows, this pilot study will explore differences in fermentation kinetics and flavor profiles of inoculated and noninoculated fermentations of Chambourcin and isolate native yeast populations on Chambourcin grapes. Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University: Dr. Josephine Wee, Dr. Jasna Kovac, and Dr. Helene Hopfer $65,169
Does Delaying Bud Burst Reduce the Risk of Frost Damage While Maintaining Grape and Wine Quality? Continuing research into comparing the effectiveness of pruning time and amigo oil application to avoid crop losses and delays in fruit ripening caused by post-budburst freeze damage. The Pennsylvania State University:
Dr. Michela Centinari, Department of Plant Science
Dr. Ryan Elias and Dr. Helene Hopfer, Department of Food Science
Dr. Molly Kelly, Penn State Cooperative Extension
$82,065
Do Pennsylvania Riesling and Vidal Blanc Wines Differ in their Sensory Properties Across Different Regions? Extension of initial research into regional differences in Riesling and Vidal Blanc wines across Pennsylvania that will include more wines from different wineries and validate first year results. Dr. Helene Hopfer and Tiffany Murray, Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University $89,520
Continued Investigation of Novel Maceration Techniques to Improve Pennsylvania Wine Quality and Yield: Continuation of research illustrating potential for cryogenic maceration to produce wines with increased resistance to in-bottle oxidation. A more in-depth investigation of this technique will explore and evaluate cost-effective and scalable cryogenic production methods. The Pennsylvania State University:
Dr. Ryan Elias, Dr. Greg Ziegler, and Conor McCaney, Department of Food Science
Dr. Molly Kelly, Penn State Cooperative Extension
$112,037
Pennsylvania Wine Land Statewide Marketing & Promotions: Continuation of the Pennsylvania Wine Land consumer marketing campaign, further expansion of Pennsylvania Wine Month promotion in October 2019 with a “PA Wines 2020 video and new regional marketing partnerships, specifically in the Lehigh Valley and the five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area. Pennsylvania Winery Association $544,350

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 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 $15.8 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 http://www.lcb.pa.gov/.

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