Missouri was a leader in the grape and wine industry before Prohibition (18th Amendment) sidelined it. Then came the comeback after repeal of the amendment. It had a slow rebirth that still is gaining momentum.

September will be Missouri Wine Month, the Missouri Wine and Grape Board announced. It will direct attention to the fact that grapes and winemaking have a major economic impact on the state.

Missouri is home to 12 wine trails and more than 130 wineries. The industry has an annual $1.76 billion impact on the state’s economy. It supports 15,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

More than 1,700 acres of grapes are grown in the state.

There are 20-plus wineries on the wine trail from St. Charles County to Hermann in Gasconade County. The trail includes Warren and Franklin counties. Washington is right in the middle. Visitors to this area, especially on weekends, have a major economic impact. The wineries draw people from St. Louis to this area in numbers unequaled by any other factor. This has become a growth area in visitors due to the wineries.

The Katy Trail also brings people from other states to this area. The Missouri River is a draw.

The full potential has not been reached in people visiting this area. The numbers are going to continue to increase. Magnificent Missouri is promoting this area as a national tourist destination.