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Illinois Wine Trade Group Has New Director

A trade group meant to educate consumers about Illinois grapes and wine varieties has a new chief.

Reports indicate Jennifer Montgomery has been named the first full-time executive director of the 22-year-old Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association.

The Virginia native had held the same job at the Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Association. Before that, she spent a decade as director of grassroots and political affairs at the Washington-based trade group WineAmerica.

The Illinois association says that as of 2012, 105 wineries statewide had sales of $39 million from more than 650,000 gallons of production. At that time, the association says the state's wine industry had contributed $692 million to the Illinois economy in terms of wages, tourism spending and taxes.

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