June 2023 Newsletter Governor’s Cup Edition:
BUY TICKETS! SHOW UP! SHOW OFF!
Get the latest on the upcominng Governor’s Cup events, Meet the current GC Sponsors and Sign Up for Your Own, Check out our 2023 Annual Meeting Packet and Election materials, Read June’s Edition of Wine Law, and More!
2023 Michigan Governor’s Cup Results
The Michigan Wine Collaborative (MWC) is excited to announce the results from the most recent statewide wine competition, the 2023 Michigan Governor’s Cup, a partnership with the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI). This exciting and historic event featured a wine evaluation unlike any competition the Michigan wine industry has experienced with our previous statewide wine competitions. BTI conducted a series of professional blind tastings to rate and rank a set of Michigan produced wines, meads, and ciders at the BTI Chicago testing facility over a three month period of time. BTI reported their average awarded gold medals in a competition was around 20% and MWC is ecstatic to report we exceeded that average with Michigan wines earning 28% gold medals. In total Michigan wine earned 2 Platinum Medals, 83 Gold Medals, 152 Silver Medals, and 45 Bronze Medals. We are excited to announce and release the final evaluation results. Wineries and wines with their medal ranks are now listed on the Michigan Wine Collaborative website.
We are pleased to announce the following award categories and corresponding ‘Best of Category’ awards:
To celebrate this wine evaluation and present awards to the top placing wineries, MWC is hosting the elegant Michigan Governor’s Cup Award Gala and Dinner in Lansing, MI on June 28th at the Lansing Center. MWC will also be hosting a more casual tasting event, the Winners’ Showcase Tasting at the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center the next evening on June 29th. Additionally, MWC is hosting a Trade Tasting prior to the Winners’ Showcase to give wine professionals with buying power for retailers, restaurants, and hospitality the opportunity to network with winning wineries, place orders, and incorporate Michigan wine into their upcoming sets, lists, and programs for 2023 and beyond.
While these events are hosted to celebrate Michigan wine, fundamentally they serve a greater purpose. The Michigan Governor’s Cup seeks to raise funds for Michigan Wine Collaborative to continue our important work promoting and supporting the Michigan wine industry through marketing projects, advance sustainability initiatives, provide resources to the industry, cultivate workforce development programs, and more. Additionally, these events will be raising funds to support the MWC Inclusion & Expansion Educational Fund which works to provide financial support and mentoring to historically excluded populations to advance their careers in Michigan wine.
Tickets for these events are still available but very limited and ticket sales will close JUNE 20th!! Those interested in attending are encouraged to secure their tickets ASAP to ensure entry to the events. MWC voting members and Premium Vintage Michigan Wine Club members both have access to exclusive discounts for admission to these events and have received the relevant promo codes in their inbox. MWC encourages those members to reach out to email@example.com they need a replacement code. We have also extended our 2023 Governor’s Cup Sponsorship deadline to June 9th for those interested in supporting this event and increasing their visibility among the Michigan wine industry. To lock in your sponsorship visit the link below:
BIG shout out to our current 2023 Michigan Governor’s Cup Sponsors! We are so thankful for the support and are excited to promote that support throughout the Governor’s Cup events.
We have extended our Sponsorship deadline! If you are interested in supporting this historic event and promoting your services, products, and brand at the same time check out our current sponsorship opportunities below: MWC 2023 Michigan Governor’s Cup Sponsorship Opportunities – Michigan Wine Collaborative
Prepare for the 2023 MWC Annual Meeting & Election
The Michigan Wine Collaborative Election and Annual Meeting will take place during the 2023 Michigan Governor’s Cup Events in Lansing, June 28-29th. Our meeting will be on June 29th at 10a.m. We encourage all members to attend the first annual Governor’s Cup Events and the MWC Annual Meeting, however, remote participation options will be available. We have some open board seats, executive positions, and committee chair posts available for dedicated MWC members looking to get involved.
OPEN BOARD SEATS 2023 NW Winery Seat- CANDIDATES WELCOMED SW Winery Seat- Andrew Backlin of Modales Winery- NO OPPOSITION CURRENTLY Retail/Restaurant- Tamela Todd of T&T Sip n Read- NO OPPOSITION CURRENTLY
BOARD SEATS UP FOR RE-ELECTION (These CAN be contested if you are interested in running for any of the seats below) SW WINERY (CURRENTLY HELD BY MATT MOERSCH OF ROUND BARN, TABOR HILL, & FREE RUN CELLARS)- NO OPPOSITION CURRENTLY SW WINERY (CURRENTLY HELD BY BRIAN LESPERANCE OF FENN VALLEY VINEYARDS & WINERY)- NO OPPOSITION CURRENTLY
NW WINERY (CURRENTLY HELD BY BRIAN LILLIE OF CHATEAU CHANTAL)- NO OPPOSITION CURRENTLY
EXECUTIVE POSITIONS AVAILABLE TREASURER- CANDIDATE: PETER KING OF DREW RYAN WINERY SECRETARY (UP FOR RE-ELECTION; HELD BY BRIAN LESPERANCE)- NO OPPOSITION CURRENTLY
MWC is excited to invite you to indulge in the June Wine Law feature, with Mark Vanneste. The full Wine Law articles are currently available on our website. Tune in monthly as Mark covers a new topic relevant to the Michigan grape and wine industries. So without further ado here’s a word from Mark on Navigating the Liquor License and Permit Landscape for Manufacturers in the state of Michigan…
“Having a general understanding of the various types of liquor licenses and permits available will help you maximize revenue opportunities while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. In Michigan, manufacturers of wine, beer, or spirits are part of the “Supplier Tier” (see last month’s Wine Law article for a brief description of Michigan’s three-tier system). This article provides a summary of some of the different types of licenses available…”
What a successful inaugural Michigan Governor’s Cup Competition! The Michigan Wine Collaborative is taking control of its own destiny and supporting the Michigan Wine Industry by hosting this competition and associated events, and trajectory of Michigan wine is thrilling. There were 300 entries from 46 wineries, and Michigan exceeded Beverage Testing Institute’s average 20% gold and platinum medal award rate by 8%, receiving 28% gold and platinum medals. Well done, Michigan!
We want to maintain total transparency on how the Governor’s Cup works: It is entirely different from the old Michigan Wine Competition hosted by the former Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. The Council had three full-time employees, a large state-funded budget, and was able to host the entire competition in-house; they kept all of the fees for wine entries to pay for the gala and medals and still ended up with a $6,000+ loss on it each year.
In contrast, the Michigan Wine Collaborative exists solely on dues and what grants we are able to achieve, and we have only one part-time paid employee. It’s nearly impossible to host a competition in-house at MWC with the amount of labor and space required. We outsourced the competition to Beverage Testing Institute for several important reasons:
Third party, out of state verification of Michigan wine (based on empirical data, wine regions must be taken seriously outside the region before garnering in-state recognition)
3-month blind tasting of individual wines with constructive feedback vs. 1-2 day tasting blitz with accompanying panel palate fatigue
Added-value option for entrants to receive expanded tasting notes, shelf-talkers, marketing materials, digital tools, and a 3-year listing on Tastings.com
The Beverage Testing Institute took in a total of $32,925 from entry fees and the MWC received a total revenue share of $4,445 from entry fees.This is obviously not enough money to pay for the awards gala and trade/public tasting, so tickets to those events are priced to be self-sustaining, as are all Michigan Wine Collaborative events.We are hoping to gather the industry in an annual celebration in a central location (something that also disappeared with the Grape & Wine Council), stay front-of-mind with our Michigan legislators with our two-day “Lansing takeover,” and raise enough funds from it to continue vital Collaborative work that includes but is not limited to:
Marketing programs to benefit every winery in the state (i.e. Taste Michigan and Cool Is Hot campaigns)
Eventsto raise awareness of Michigan wines within the state and on the world wine stage
Talent pipeline and database – growing the wine industry with qualified candidates
Sustainable agriculture standards improvement and validation – LIVE and VineBalance adaptation + Great Lakes Sustainable Wine Alliance; supporting and developing Sustainable Ag digital application with MSU team
Inclusion / Expansion wine education scholarships and partnership programs to include underserved populations in industry positions
VESTA apprenticeshippartnerships to place qualified VESTA interns at Michigan wineries and vineyards
4-H partnerships to interest young Michiganders in urban, suburban and rural areas in viticulture
Education and research support with partnerships, sponsorships, and support of grape and wine research with academic partners; developing training modules for wine education classes
Representing the MI wine/grape industry at national conferences (and in national groups (i.e., WineAmerica, National Grape Research Alliance)
Connecting press and influencers with wineries and growers (i.e. the Governor’s Cup events, May Sommspirations/Brianne Cohen visit to Northern Michigan)
Involving the public in industry celebrations tobuild strong fan-bases and loyalty to Michigan wineries
Thank you for understanding that the Michigan Wine Collaborative is in a very different position from the former Grape and Wine Industry Council and that with our operating budget of under $40,000 per year in dues and sponsorships, the financial structure of how we support our important work doesn’t allow for the losses the former government council could incur, and it blows my mind every day that the MWC is able to accomplish so much with so little. Many in the state are under the impression that the Michigan Wine Collaborative receives some of the $850k state money allotted to the Craft Beverage Council; we do not. Imagine what we could do with full-time staff and a larger budget! Fundraising events like the Governor’s Cup will help get us there so that we can continue our focus on wine- and grape-centric initiatives.
Buy tickets. Show up. Show off. Michigan wine is world-class and events like this will let the world know.