Program Provides Funding to Ohio Grape Growers

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – The state agriculture department’s 2023 Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program is now open to new and existing Ohio vineyards.

The VEAP is an incentive program created and funded by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee.

Due to the small number of grapes produced in Ohio, many wineries, farmers’ markets and retailers are forced to purchase grapes of several different varieties from other states to meet production needs. The VEAP is designed to provide a more stable source of high-quality, high-value grapes grown in Ohio.

Additionally, the program will allow for more Ohio wines to qualify for the Ohio Quality Wine program and increase consumer awareness of Ohio’s premier wines made from Ohio-grown grapes, according to a press release from the state agriculture department.

The VEAP funding will cover the cost of the grape vines planted. Each grower may apply for up to $1,500 per half-acre, with a maximum of 3 acres, or $9,000. Only growers in Ohio can apply for the assistance, and the planting must occur in spring 2024.

All applications must be completed and received by the OGIC by Friday, July 7. To receive a copy of the application, contact Christy Eckstein at

Ohio is the seventh largest wine producer in the country, with just over 1,200 acres of vineyards producing and selling 1.2 million gallons, or 500,000 cases, of wine annually. There are more than 400 licensed wine manufacturers across the state, creating more than 41,000 full-time jobs for Ohioans.

Pictured at top: New grape vines are under cultivation at the Shelby County farm owned by Aaron Heilers in Anna, Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.