Local wine business and group receive federal grants

Wild Wines of Jacksonville and Southern Oregon Winery Association were among 23 Oregon recipients selected to receive federal business development assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Value-Added Producer Grant program.

Wild Wines is in line for a $93,572 grant, while Medford-based SOWA is in line for $22,550. Statewide, the grants totalled nearly $1.5 million.

USDA spokesman Weldon Freeman said Wild Wines, a start-up on Little Applegate Road, will use its grant for working capital to expand production and bottling and for hiring a winemaker and a sales and marketing director.

Southern Oregon Winery Association, with 51 members, intends to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study, and develop business and marketing plans for expanded sales into new markets.

The grants are designed to promote business expansion and entrepreneurship opportunities through access to capital, technical assistance and new markets, Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager said in a prepared statement delivered at a conference in Oregon City.

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