Bucks County’s wine industry recently received good news from the state in the form of monetary support for marketing efforts and funding to get rid of an invasive pest that threatens crops statewide.
Governor Tom Wolf announced recently that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has awarded grants totaling $1 million for projects designed to enhance wine production as well as promote sales within the state. Of the nine projects receiving funding, four of them involve research on the impact of invasive pests or viruses on grapes. Nearly $50,000 will be spent on studying the impact of the Spotted Lantern Fly on the quality of wine production.
Bucks County is among one of the thirteen counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania officially affected by the Spotted Lantern Fly. The PA Department of Agriculture is working to eradicate the pest which could threaten the state’s $4.8 billion wine industry and $28 million grape industry. The insects feed on sap within grape vines, which are one of several favored plants for the flies. The resulting wounds can cause severe damage to crops as a result.
Pennsylvania is home to 25 of the plant species that the pests live on, including grapes, fruit trees and hardwoods. Ridding the area of the insect and working around its effects on vegetation is important to the continued success of the industry.11
“Research is vital to the continued, successful growth of the state’s rapidly expanding wine industry,” said Governor Tom Wolf during his announcement of the grants late last month. “These grants are an important investment in the future of a vibrant, dynamic part of Pennsylvania’s agricultural portfolio.”
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Winery Association received the largest amount of funding, over $544,000. The group’s Pennsylvania Wine Land consumer marketing campaign promotes sales and develops marketing for the state’s 200 plus wineries. Eight of those wineries are located in Bucks County.
The Association plans to use the funds to expand the promotion of Pennsylvania Wine Month in October of 2019. They also hope to develop regional marketing partnerships, specifically in the Lehigh Valley and Bucks County areas. Bucks County’s eight wineries, family owned agricultural businesses, currently support each other through the efforts of the Bucks County Wine Trail. Between them they produce hundreds of wines of all varieties.
For more information on the Bucks County Wine Trail visit their website at www.buckscountywinetrail.com.