Tennessee Governor Names May “Wine and Grape Appreciation Month”

Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton speaks at the Nine Lakes Winemakers’ Dinner May 19.

“The grape and wine industry is growing in importance and significance to our agriculture and tourism industries,” Commissioner Jai Templeton said.

On May 11, 2017, Governor Bill Haslam proclaimed May as Tennessee Wine and Grape Appreciation Month.

Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton read the proclamation aloud on May 19 in Oak Ridge, to a room of 100 winemakers and guests at the inaugural Winemakers’ Dinner at Nine Lakes Wine Festival. The proclamation (see below) recognizes the growth and economic impact of the Tennessee wine and grape industry in recent years.

“The grape and wine industry is growing in importance and significance to our agriculture and tourism industries,” Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “I’m pleased that Gov. Bill Haslam recognizes the impact of this sector on our rural economy. We look forward to continuing our efforts to support growth and opportunity in this area.”

“Designating May as Tennessee Wine and Grape Appreciation Month builds on the efforts we have been working on, to grow this important segment of agriculture in Tennessee,” said James R. Riddle, president of the Appalachian Region Wine Producers Association (ARWPA), which hosted the dinner and May 20 festival.

Grapes are one of the fastest growing segments of Tennessee agriculture, with a 56 percent increase in production acreage from 2007 to 2012. The wine and grape industry currently employs more than 400 people in Tennessee, with 20 percent year-over-year job growth.

The Tennessee grape and wine industry has an economic impact of an estimated $40 to $60 million per year and contributes significantly…

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