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Iowa hires adviser for wine industry

Iowa's small but growing wine industry soon will get a boost in the form of a professional adviser.

After months of searching, the Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development Center in Oakland, Iowa, has hired a viticulturist to help Iowa grape growers produce better and more wine.

Eli Bergmeier has agreed to leave the James Arthur Vineyards in Raymond, Neb., to become Iowa's viticulturist. Bergmeier will offer Iowa grape growers technical advice with their vineyards and wine production.

Once a booming industry, wine and grape production in Iowa disappeared in the 1900s, partially because of prohibition. A small group of growers is starting to redevelop the industry in the state.

Shirley Frederiksen, director of Golden Hills, said Bergmeier will start the job July 1 and cover the state for the next two years.

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