SE Winery – Chris Southern
Winemaker & General Manager, Detroit Vineyards
A native of the suburbs of Detroit, Chris spent 11 years in Management at Trader Joe’s
Company before attending a baccalaureate winemaking program at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in California. While in college, he was Assistant Winemaker for a small estate winery in Paso Robles. Post grad, he worked stints in Walla Walla Washington, New Zealand and Northern Michigan before returning to California. He has since managed filtration companies, sold barrels, managed winery operations and made wine for heralded brands in Edna Valley, Napa Valley, Santa Barbara County, Paso Robles and now Detroit.
SE Winery – Peter King III
Partner/Winemaker Drew Ryan Wines
Peter King III has been making wine for the past 8 years. He is one of three founding partners of Drew Ryan wines based out of Southfield Michigan. The partners are in the process of opening a tasting room in the city of Detroit and have planted the first vines this past spring on a small lot off of the Detroit river where they are growing Cabernet Franc grapes.
SE Winery – Bob Utter
Owner, Flying Otter Winery
Bob grew up in western Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Bob had a 35+ year career in Design Engineering, Engineering Management, and Engineering Consulting that took him to Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan, and, as it turned out, too much time in France, where he fell in love with French wine and cheese. Bob followed his passion for wine and started a vineyard in 2005 near Adrian, Michigan, adding additional vines and varieties until 2016. The Flying Otter Vineyard focuses on cold hardy varieties that thrive in SE Michigan. Bob received formal training and education in viticulture and enology through VESTA, which led to the opening of The Flying Otter Winery in 2011, featuring estate grown and produced wines. [email protected]
SE Grower- Patrick Spensley
Cherry Creek Cellars
Born and raised in SE Michigan, Patrick got his first experience working in the wine industry while abroad in New Zealand. Upon returning home he started at Cherry Creek Cellars in Brooklyn, MI in 2011 where he continued his formal education through VESTA and gained immeasurable hands on experience in the vineyard, cellar and tasting room. When the John & Denise Burtka, who started the winery in 2003, were ready to retire, Patrick took the reins in 2018. Together with his staff they have continued to build upon Cherry Creek’s foundation. Outside of work, Patrick enjoys spending time with his family exploring all that Michigan has to offer. They find it convenient that there are so many wineries in all corners of the State!
NW Winery – Joshua Morgan
Head Winemaker, Petoskey Farms Vineyard & Winery
Sustainability Committee Chair
Josh Morgan grew up in Northern Michigan, in the rural town of Mio. After graduating high school, he attended Central Michigan University and graduated in 2006 with his B.A. in Commercial Parks and Recreation Management. Upon graduation, he moved to Traverse City where he got his start in the wine industry working in the tasting room at Black Star Farms Winery before becoming cellar hand there, spending nine years working his way up through different roles in the cellar until he achieving the role of Cellar Master. There he learned from some of the best winemakers in Northern Michigan, from the delicacies of Riesling, the romance of Pinot Noir and everything in between. Outside of work Josh also works as a paid On-Call Firefighter for the Petoskey Department of Public Safety. When he’s not working, he is spending time with his wife and his Mountain Cur, Max. They enjoy hiking, spending time outdoors, and finding the next best ice cream parlor! [email protected]
NW Grape Grower – Tom Petzold
Ten Hands Vineyards
Research & Education Committee Chair
Tom Petzold and his wife established, own and operate Ten Hands Vineyards in Old Mission, facing the East Arm of the Grand Traverse Bay. They grow Riesling and Chardonnay for Bowers Harbor Vineyards, where Tom has worked in various capacities for over 12 years. Tom’s employment at the historic Pontchartrain Wine Cellars restaurant in Detroit (1970s) gave him his first exposure to the world of fine wine. His 17-years living in Europe, while studying & serving in the U.S Air Force, afforded him opportunities to deepen his love, knowledge and respect for fine wine. Tom and his wife, Claudine, have always found time to explore some of the oldest and most recognized wine regions in the world, and gladly embraced the European tradition of enjoying wine as a part of daily life. Committed to surviving the growing pains and opportunities of a young wine industry in Michigan, Tom enjoys working with the tens of partners in the vineyards and wine cellars in the NW region. He served six years (four as VP) on the Parallel 45 Wines and Vines LLC BOD, which is the region’s volunteer organization for research, education and collaboration among growers, MSU, MSU/Ext, winemakers and wine enthusiasts. Tom is a founding member of the MWC and has chaired the R/E Committee since its beginning. [email protected]
SW Winery- David Miller
Owner, White Pine Winery
“Dr. Dave” was born and raised in and around South Bend, Indiana. He graduated from North Liberty High School before attending Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Dave received his BS in Biology, specializing in Plant Ecology and Botany. He subsequently enrolled at Michigan State University to work on a Master of Science degree in Viticulture with Dr. Stan Howell in the Horticulture Department. Dave’s MS work focused on the influence of rootstock on grapevine cold hardiness. After receiving his MS, Dave worked as research manager in the Viticulture and Enology program under Dr. Howell at MSU. There, he designed and ran the grape research plots, produced the research wines and directed the vine physiology and enology lab. He worked as the research manager for 13 years, the last four of which were also spent working on his PhD. Dave’s PhD work focused on grapevine photosynthesis and grapevine and vineyard productivity in relation to wine quality. During his time at MSU Dr. Dave authored or co-authored over 35 scientific publications and holds a patent for using Oak products to enhance wines. He has presented his work at professional meetings throughout North America.Dr. Dave has been a member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and the Australian Society for Viticulture and Oenology since 1983.
Dave worked at St. Julian Wine Company from 1997 through mid 2010. During that time he was promoted from Associate Winemaker to Vice President of Winemaking while overseeing wine sales grow by a factor of 3. Dave started his own winery in 2010 so he could focus on producing those varietals that perform best in Michigan’s unique climate. His goal for White Pine Winery is to produce the very best wines from southwest Michigan’s vineyards and tell the story about our region through his wines. At MSU he teaches CEM 482 – Winemaking, and is involved in developing a new, advanced wine making and analysis course to serve Michigan’s wine industry and continue to improve the quality of Michigan wines. Additionally, Dave has served on the Viticulture Consortium East Advisory Committee, the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and is presently a member of the wine council’s Research and Education Advisory Committee, the American Vineyard Foundation, the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) and the National Grape and Wine Initiative. He serves on the USDA SCRI grant review committee for viticulture. Dave is committed to producing the very best grapes and wines Michigan has to offer.
SW Winery – Matt Moersch
Partner, Winemaker and Distiller
Tabor Hill Winery, Buchanan, Michigan
Round Barn Winery, Distillery & Brewery, Baroda, Michigan
Free Run Cellars, Berrien Springs, Michigan
Matt Moersch’s wine career began as picking grapes in his family’s vineyard and apprenticing with his father, and he continued his studies with world-renowned winemakers and growers in France, Germany, and Hungary. Currently, he is partner of The Round Barn Winery and co-founder of Free Run Cellars, crafting more than 40 different styles of dry and sweet wines; more than 100 unique beer recipes; and 20 different types of fortified wines and spirits, such as bourbon, rum, and vodka. While focused on French-style wines and spirits, Matt draws from the vast diversity of European winemaking and distillation traditions to develop the diverse, award-winning portfolio for which Round Barn and Free Run are celebrated. At both wineries, he oversees and collaborates with winemaker Brian Carlson, a 25-year veteran of California, Oregon, and Washington wineries. Spearheading the Great Lakes Sustainable Wine Alliance (GLSWA), a statewide sustainability initiative, Moersch is working to bring Round Barn’s sustainability mindset to a broader coalition of neighboring winegrowers. Modeled on Oregon’s premier LIVE certification, the GLSWA will encompass agricultural, cellar, and business practices; including key issues such as the elimination of herbicides from Michigan vineyards and aggressive water-reduction practices. “Good wine is made in the vineyard. So I always begin by understanding how I can better serve the grapes by honoring where they grow. When the vines are happy, the wine is, too.” All of Moersch’s properties are MAEAP-verified. Moersch has been a leading figure in building the nationally recognized reputation of Michigan’s famed Lake Michigan Shore AVA. [email protected]
SW Grape Grower – Sidney Finan
Owner, Stranger Wine Company
Sidney Finan is co-owner and farmer at Stranger Wine Company based in Buchanan, Michigan. She and her Fiance, Maxwell Eichberg, manage their 15 acre estate utilizing regenerative agricultural practices. Prior to moving to Michigan, Sidney worked as a farm hand on a small family owned organic farm in Illinois and fell in love with agriculture. From there she moved into viticulture and spent time working for a viticultural management group in Oregon where she gained exposure to hundreds of different vineyard sites and got to see first hand the impact that different management styles had on their environments. Her current regenerative agricultural practices are informed by both her experiences in the field and by her bachelors degrees in Biology and Environmental Science. While in Oregon she also worked as a winery intern and fell in love with the entire process of farming grapes and watching them turn into wine. After leaving Oregon she and her Fiance decided that there was no time like the present and founded Stranger Wine Company to put their farming and wine making skills to the test. It was a bold leap, but prior to working in agriculture Sidney had also spent several years working in Property Management in Chicago learning important business principles that allowed her to feel confident in founding her own company. 2021 was a challenging year, but all in all it was a tremendously successful growing year and Sidney is already looking forward to 2022.
Tourism – Ed Peabody
Director, HOUR Custom Publishing
Ed Peabody is director of custom publishing for Hour Media in Troy, Michigan, and has 15 years of experience working in the Michigan wine industry to produce Michigan Wine Country magazine. Ed joined Hour in 2000 to spearhead the company’s diversification into content marketing and book publishing. Before that, he was VP-Group Publisher at Campbell-Ewald, where he worked on integrated marketing initiatives for a variety of multinational clients in the automotive, financial services, and information technology industries. A lifelong Michigander, Ed has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Honors English from Wayne State University in Detroit. [email protected]
Restaurant/Retail – Lisa Lyon
Wine Buyer, Meijer
Lisa Lyon is the Wine Buyer for Meijer, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is new to the Michigan Wine Industry, however, is passionate about supporting local wineries. At Meijer, Lisa supports the Michigan wineries with dedicated display features, control label development, print advertising, and digital marketing. Her goal as a Michigan Wine Collaborative board members is to partner with Michigan Wineries to grow their businesses while building a best-in-class wine experience for the Meijer customer.
Executive Director- Emily Dockery
Inclusion & Expansion Committee Co-Chair
Having experience in the vineyard, the cellar, and the retail sales floor has formed Emily into a Michigan wine marketing master. From this experience, her most accomplished consulting and marketing management achievement blossomed. As Executive Director for the Michigan Wine Collaborative, Emily has curated a network of like-minded Michigan wine enthusiasts, professionals, and artists as well as consistently securing Michigan wines on the global wine stage. She currently is the wine buyer for Harding’s in Richland, MI, and founder and owner of a small consulting/marketing firm, winemi.
Chuck Jackson, Jr
Wine Consultant, House of Pure Vin
Inclusion & Expansion Committee Chair
Visiting V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena, California, started Chuck on his current path in the wine industry. After visiting V. Sattui, he came home to Michigan to start a winery tour business. The winery tour business led to an article in the Detroit News. That article led to joining the Detroit Chapter of the African American Wine Tasting Society (AAWTS). The AAWTS morphed into The Mahogany Tasters, which has led him to what he does today. After over 30 years of enjoying wine, Chuck is now a wine consultant, wine educator and wine mixologist. Stop into House of Pure Vin for the Chuck Jackson, Jr., wine experience.
AVAILABLE COMMITTEE CHAIR POSITIONS:
COLD CLIMATE COMMITTEE
Interesting in joining the board or a committee? Contact us for more information.