BOSTON (AP) — It may not resemble Napa Valley quite yet, but Massachusetts is stepping up when it comes to winemaking.
State agriculture officials say there are now 40 licensed wineries in the Bay State, most of them small, family-owned operations. That’s more than triple the number that existed less than two decades ago.
The wineries produced nearly 135,000 gallons of wine and hard apple cider last year, a 21 percent increase from 2007. Total wine sales in 2010 were $9.3 million, up from $7.8 million in 2007.
A new state law allows Massachusetts-based wineries to sell directly to consumers at state farmers markets, and officials say the reception has been positive so far.
Bay State residents certainly seem to have a taste for wine: The state ranks seventh in per capita consumption.
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