U.S. number one for wine market

For the first time ever the United States is now the number one wine market in the World. Some local companies are getting a taste of that growing popularity.

John Tadlock and Marty Sievers say they both just kind of stumbled into making wine.

“I never really thought about it, I ended up out here,” said Tadlock.

The U.S. is now the number one wine market in the world, beating France. That’s not a surprise to local wineries like Lavender Crest in Colona, Illinois.

“There are a lot of wineries coming up throughout the whole united states before it was more California, but now all across the heartland,” said owner, Martha Bazik-Rittmueller.

When Lavender Crest opened up 10 years ago there were a little more than 40 wineries in Illinois, now there are more than 100. Along with that growth comes more business too.

“Our business has grown. We started with 10 wines. Today we have 21 wines,” said Bazik-Rittmueller.

Wine sales are up in the U.S. slightly, but in France, sales are actually down seven percent. One thing that might help in the states is the variety of wine.

“There’s going to continue to be growth in the wineries across the heartland,” said Bazik-Rittmueller.

As for Tadlock and Sievers they’ll keep doing what they do best.

“We’re not making wine that the expert say is good wine. We’re making wine that the average person likes to drink,” said Sievers.

“Whether we’re beating France or not, as long as people like what we make,” said Tadlock.

While the U.S. is buying more the French are still drinking more per person. The average person in France drinks 1.2 bottles a week, six times more than the average American.

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