Big Changes, Bigger Opportunities
Big changes are ahead for the Michigan wine industry. The biggest might be the imminent changes to the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. Legislation has passed which will dissolve the current architecture of the council and will transform it into the Michigan Craft Beverage Council. Some of the effects this will have on the wine industry are known but many are unknown. The Michigan Wine Collaborative is working hard to prepare the industry for the reconstruction of our biggest supporter and to take responsibility of many of the tasks of the current council. The following is a prepared statement from our president, David Miller:
“Michigan’s grape and wine industries have been well served for many years by the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council (MGWIC). Since its inception in 1985, the MGWIC has worked closely with the industry to promote Michigan wines, support research for better grapes and wines and enhance educational programs including the annual Michigan Wine Conference to share information among our constituents. When the MGWIC began its mission in 1985 there were 14 wineries in Michigan. Today there are 138 wineries and over 3,000 acres of wine grape vineyards in Michigan.
With the passage of legislation creating the new Craft Beverage Council, we will say goodbye to the MGWIC in its present form. The Craft Beverage Council will serve Michigan’s wineries, craft brewers and craft distillers. This is a great opportunity to join with our fellow craft beverage producers to form new relationships and work toward an organization that provides research, marketing and promotion for all of Michigan’s craft beverage producers. The Michigan Wine Collaborative and the Michigan Wine Producers Association (MWPA) will work together to develop a strong relationship with the Craft Beverage Council and representatives of the brewing and distilling industries and to insure that the needs of the grape wine industries are served. Through our collaboration we will strive to leverage funding where ever possible to support marketing and promotion, research, extension programs and educational opportunities for our constituents. We look forward to this new opportunity and will continue in our efforts toward the ongoing success for Michigan’s wine grape growers and wineries.
The Michigan Wine Collaborative’s Mission is to enhance the sustainability and profitability of the Michigan wine industry by supporting wineries, growers and other businesses and individuals connected to the industry – today and for future generations.”
If you have any comments, questions, or concerns please Contact Us. We are here to help through this transition and provide as much support as we can to all of our members and the industry. We appreciate your continued loyalty and are looking forward to your continued collaboration.
Michigan Wine Industry Gains Exposure Through USBEVX
The MWC Michigan wine tasting at 2018 USBEVX.
A small selection of the offerings available at the MWC Michigan wine tasting at 2018 USBEVX.
Board member, Gina Shay, traveled with Project/Marketing Director, Emily Dockery to Washington, D.C. last month to attend 2018 USBEVX. This conference is an all encompassing opportunity to gain knowledge in all things wine and beverage related. Sessions varied from viticulture, enology, marketing, and business logistics with a particular focus on East Coast production. This was not a conference that took California success into consideration as a solution for producers in very different regions which felt like a very tailored approach to smaller but expanding markets similar to ours in Michigan. While we learned a lot of new information at this conference including some interesting findings on source-sink relationships in the vineyard, new rosé styles to explore in the cellar, as well as promotion and marketing techniques, we also served a large purpose of our presence at this event- To serve and promote the Michigan wine industry. We provided established wine writers, bloggers, heads of wine associations and organizations, tourist board affiliates, wine makers, and other wine authorities with more than 35 of the best Michigan wines submitted by our members. And the response was extraordinary. We received glowing compliments on almost all of the wines we provided. And in the two weeks since this tasting there has been several reviews, social media postings, and accolades popping up all over the internet. We were proud to have created such a positive buzz around Michigan wines over the short amount of time we were at USBEVX.
Lawton Ridge Riesling Pet-Nat
L. Mawby Talismon
St. Julian Albarinõ
Domaine Berrien Syrah
Free Run Pinot Meunier
Black Star Farms Arcturos Pinot Noir
Shady Lane Franc n Franc
Chateau Chantal Reserve Riesling
MWC Annual Meeting at the 2018 Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Conference
The 2018 Michigan Grape & Wine Industry kicked off February 28 in Kalamazoo. MWC participated in the exhibition hall and promoted membership opportunities. We were joined by 5 new members during the conference. To learn more about new members view the ‘New Member’ section near the bottom of the newsletter. While the exhibition hall was a valuable opportunity to network and collaborate with industry professionals the conference was also jam packed with educational sessions. Board member, Cristin Hosmer, lead both MI-CAST Module 1: Customer Service Training which focused on hospitality in the tasting room. Hosmer also facilitated the Winemakers’ Tasting with Robin Usborne of East of Eden Vineyard. This year’s tasting theme was rosé. More than 20 different styles and varietals were provided in this blind tasting to exhibit both strengths and flaws as well as the variety the state is able to produce. MWC and the board members were very visible throughout this entire conference. Jessica Youngblood participated on a panel which also featured Rockie Rick of Gravity and Red Top Winery and Jim Granzotto of Great Legs Winery, Distillery, and Brewery. Youngblood gave insight into her experience into preparing to own a winery and vineyard and also her journey throughout establishment of the vineyard and the beginning steps of the winery.
The Sustainability committee also had their monthly meeting at the conference. We covered a lot of ground in this meeting. GLSWA is getting closer to establishing a list of rated pesticides and fungicides constructed especially for vineyard use. We also received updates about surrounding states having great interest in the GLWSA and our current and future projects. We will be collaborating to see how we can all work together and make progress towards the common goal of sustainability. Sub-committees were also developed within the Sustainability committee. These sub-committees are aimed to increase productivity and efficiency of the overall committee. Are you interested in joining the Sustainability committee contact chair Matt Moersch.
Our biggest moment of visibility occurred at our annual meeting. This year the MWC meeting was full of our accomplishments over the last year, an overview of goals for the next, a preview of changes to the current Michigan Grape and Wine Industry council, and a vote to establish the board. Committee chairs gave updates on their committee’s progress, achievements, and goals and encouraged members to join. We also hosted a discussion on the end of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council as it stands and concerns that come with that change. MWC is excited to welcome both Josh Morgan of Petoskey Farms Vineyard & Winery who will be filling our Northwest Winery seat and Blake Kownacki of Detroit Vineyards filling our Southeast Winery seat. MWC was also pleased to witness Gina Shay unanimously maintain the Supplier seat and Matt Moerch the Southwest Winery seat as well as Vice President status. Rick Cooper of Southwest Michigan also joined the board to fulfill our Retail board seat. We are in the process of updating the website to reflect changes to the board as well as include bios and contact information. We will also be uploading our presentation from the meeting to the website for anyone who was unable to attend. Contact Us if you have any questions about the annual meeting, joining the board, or a committee.
For more news and information, please visit us atwww.michiganwinecollaborative.com. And if you haven’t already please like us onFacebook, follow us on Instagram@michiganwinecollaborative, and on Twitter@MIWineCollab. We look forward to seeing you online!
Dave Miller, President
Do you have an event, news, or accolade you would like published through MWC? E-mail Emily at [email protected]to submit material.
Are you involved in any of MWC’s valuable and dynamic committees? We are looking for motivated and industrious members to help our committees thrive. To request more information on available committee seats click here.
We recently formed a new committee! The new Cold Climate committee is being chaired by Jessica Youngblood and will be devoted to the support and innovation of cold climate varieties in Michigan. If you are interested in joining or if you have any questions please Contact Jessica.
Communications committee meeting is scheduled TBD. Call in information will be listed on Basecamp. Contact Us if you would like to be sent that information or to check in about the date of the call. Any inquiries may be directed to committee chair Brian Lesperance.
Membership committee call is scheduled for Monday March 12 at11am. Call in information will be listed on Base camp. Contact Us if you would like to be sent that information or to check in about the date of the call. Any inquiries may be directed to committee chair Gina Shay.
Sustainability committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday April 5 at1pm. Call in information is listed on Base camp. Contact Us if you would like to be sent that information. Any inquiries may be directed to committee chair Matt Moersch.
MWC cannot thank our members enough for supporting us and collaborating with us on the future of the Michigan wine industry. We need you to help us spread the word about MWC membership. Every member who cultivates a fruitful referral will receive a small thank you from MWC.
Reminder that board meetings take place monthly. All members (voting and non-voting) are welcomed to attend. In addition, time is allotted for public comments or questions. The next board meeting is scheduled for April 3 at 10 am. Board meetings will take place the first Tuesday of the month unless otherwise noted. For call-in information check Base camp or contact us here.