Midwest wineries trying to get a piece of the action
Watch yer back, Napa. The Midwest is jockeying for a position among the nation's most-recognized wine regions. To do so, some determined winemakers are trying to secure federal recognition of 29,000 square miles of the Upper Mississippi River Valley (which includes northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, southwest Wisconsin and northwest Illinois) as a distinct viticultural region. If the feds grant the request, the region will be the country's biggest and will allow wineries to identify themselves as part of the region on labels. The move would be good for tourism, the article says (duh) as well as raise awareness of the region's unique wines (double duh). Permission is granted through the Treasury Department.