High Spirits - Feds Award Over $9M For Wine, Rum and More

By Eric Scheiner | November 1, 2016 | 10:31am EDT
Wine producing and marketing efforts received over $7 million under the 2016 Value Added Producer Grant program. (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The federal government is giving out $9,213,303 in taxpayer funds to wineries, distilleries and orchards producing hard cider through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Value Added Producer grants (VAPG) program.

The recently released list of the 2016 VAPG awards includes $7,417,459 for those producing, marketing, and packaging wine.

According to the USDA program description, among those included in the $7,417,459 is a $250,000 grant to Caduceus Cellars of Arizona for “to help increase the customer base and market share for bottled wines.”

Grovedale Winery and Vineyard, INC of Pennsylvania was granted $250,000 “to enhance marketing by developing a more visually appealing display with new banners, tasting cards and table displays.”

Vivac Winery in New Mexico was awarded $98,121 “to process grapes and package wine in kegs for ready distribution and consumption.”

$1,250,000 was awarded for companies dealing with liquor. This includes a $250,000 award to Cane Land Distilling in Louisiana “to extract molasses and fresh sugar cane juice from Alma Plantation sugar cane and ferment and distill it into three product types: Rhum Agricole, Heavy Rum, and Light Rum.”

Thousand Islands Winery LLC of New York was awarded $250,000 “to expand sales and promotion of rye whiskey and bourbon whiskey products.”

Whiskey is among the products receiving support with taxpayer dollars. (AP Photo)

Makers and marketers of hard cider received $545,844 worth of taxpayer funds through the VAPG grants, including $235,689 to Big Mountain Ciderworks of Montana “to process pears and apples into hard cider and distribute them locally.”

Donovan Orchards LLC of New York received $185,000 “to provide working capital for a startup company, Rootstock Ciderworks.”

The grants are part of the $45,368,454 of federal taxpayer funds given out through the VAPG program in 2016.

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