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

May 16, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has awarded grants totaling $999,989 to seven projects intended to enhance the Pennsylvania wine industry and increase production of Pennsylvania-made wines.

“Pennsylvania has a proud tradition of winemaking and the industry continues to expand,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Investing in this tremendous opportunity will help to strengthen our economy and builds on efforts to modernize our laws to position Pennsylvania businesses for growth.”

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 $999,934 for 13 projects – were issued by the PLCB in May 2017.

“Winemaking continues to be an important, growing business in the commonwealth, and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is proud to provide almost $1 million in grants to help in-state winemakers grow better grapes and promote their products,” said PLCB Chairman Tim Holden.

“Pennsylvania’s wine industry contributes $4.8 billion to our state’s economy,” Agriculture Russell Redding said. “Supporting wine producers in making the highest quality products is an important investment in the vitality of the industry, and in meeting consumer demand for locally sourced, high quality products.”

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


Grant Project Grantee Grant Amount
Screening Soil Microbial Stimulators for Potential Effectiveness in Northeastern Vineyards: Greenhouse screening of commercially available soil microbial stimulators for efficacy prior to selection of products for a larger field study. Results of this study will be shared with The Pennsylvania State University and Pennsylvania wine growers. Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel, Associate Professor of Horticulture, Cornell University $14,025
Pennsylvania Wine Industry Sponsorship for the 2018 American Society of Enology and Viticulture Eastern Section Conference: Sponsorship of key speakers and Pennsylvania wines to be poured at this national conference to be held in July in King of Prussia. Denise Gardner, Wine Consultant, Denise Gardner Winemaking

Dr. Michela Centinari, Assistant Professor of Viticulture, The Pennsylvania State University

Evaluating the Impact of Under-Trellis Groundcover Practices on Winegrape Production Profitability and Sustainability: Research into a sustainable weed suppression alternative to herbicides for Pennsylvania wine growers that will allow growers to improve grape production while maintaining or improving soil health. Dr. Michela Centinari, Assistant Professor of Viticulture, The Pennsylvania State University $51,978
Rotundone as a Potential Impact Compound for PA Wines: Exploring what amounts of peppery aromas from rotundone appeal to Pennsylvania drinkers of Noiret and Grüner Veltliner wines. Dr. John Hayes, Associate Professor of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University $97,321
Boosting Polyfunctional Thiols and Other Aroma Compounds in White Hybrid Wines Through Foliar Nitrogen and Sulfur Application: Evaluation of the impact of foliar nitrogen and sulfur spraying as a viticultural practice to improve quality and profitability of white hybrid wines. Dr. Ryan Elias, Associate Professor of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University $101,543
Defining Regional Typicity of Grüner Veltliner Wines: 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. Dr. Michela Centinari, Assistant Professor of Viticulture, The Pennsylvania State University $195,622
Pennsylvania Wine Land Statewide Marketing & Promotions: Continuation of the Pennsylvania Wine Land consumer marketing campaign, expansion of Pennsylvania Wine Month promotion in October 2018, and sustained investment in a cooperative wine trails grant program representing more than 100 wineries. Pennsylvania Winery Association $519,500

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

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