Get involved in the Inclusion & Expansion Holiday Fundraiser and/or the new Membership & Communications Committee, save the date for the MWC Annual Meeting, check out the Winter issue of Michigan Uncorked, read a message from MWC president with an update on the 2021 Michigan Wine Competition, learn about Specialty Crop Research Initiative opportunities, and More!
The MWC Inclusion & Expansion Committee is releasing an open letter to the wine industry and our partners, supporters, and colleagues. This letter serves as a way to accept accountability, present a plan for progress, and begin the work towards to more inclusive and expanded Michigan wine industry.
MWC has begun raising funds that will enable us to offer support to create and maintain a pipeline of recruitment, both for the industry and its consumers. It is our goal to specifically provide resources to support aspiring BIPOC students from Michigan obtaining Level 2 WSET OR the first year of the VESTA program. In 2021 we will award the MWC Inclusion & Expansion Educational Fund to one student with hopes to add additional student awardees annually.
This committee has big plans for 2021 and is excited to be collaborating on a number of projects with the Membership/Communications, Grants & Funding, and Research & Education committees in order to efficiently and collaboratively make our industry bigger and better…together.
MWC Inclusion & Expansion Educational Fund
As we begin raise funds for this initial scholarship as a way to encourage and increase diversity in the Michigan wine industry, we put the call out to our members to lead the industry through example. We hope you will consider making an investment in the future out of industry. This fund will provide partial to full funding towards Level 2 WSET OR the 1st year of the VESTA program. Click Here to Contribute.
MWC Mentorship & Apprenticeship Program
We are also in the beginning stages of creating a Mentorship & Apprenticeship program utilizing the MWC membership. This program with work directly with the MWC Recruitment Pipeline to serve as a database for both aspiring and/or skilled winery. vineyard, or hospitality staff and for businesses looking for staff or to train the future of the MI wine industry. If you are interested in being involved in this project please reach out to us HERE!
SAVE THE DATE!! MWC ANNUAL MEETING AND NW ORCHARD & VINEYARD SHOW- JANUARY 2021
The MWC 2021 Annual Meeting and Election will take place on the morning of January 21st in conjunction with the 2021 Virtual NW Orchard & Vineyard Show. We will be sending out a separate meeting notice with election information. Keep an eye on your inboxes this next month, we will be communicating a lot of information to the membership.
Membership & Communications Committee Gearing Up for 2021
The Michigan Wine Collaborative is at a cross roads for the Membership and Communications committee. In the early stages of the formation of the collaborative, it made sense for us to combine the committees. Since then our industry has grown, the Collaborative has grown, and our objectives have grown with them. This brings us to this cross roads. After several weeks of discussions, we feel that the committee can be split into 2 different committees dedicated to their primary areas of interest: the Marketing and Communications Committee and the Membership Committee. These proposed changes are under review by the EC and will be determined soon in preparation for a successful 2021. In the event this change is approved, the Michigan Wine Collaborative is seeking volunteers to serve on both committees and sub committees. This includes the need for leadership on the Membership Committee as Chairperson.
Brian Lillie will continue to chair the Marketing and Communications Committee. On this committee we have identified the following priorities for 2021 including 2 big collaborative initiatives with the Inclusion & Expansion committee:
Writing a Specialty Crop Block Grant for defining a brand identity package for Michigan Wine.
Partner with the Inclusions and Expansion Committee to drive membership and programs to untapped BIPOC populations.
Observing Latinx population for their importance in the wine business.
If any or all of these priorities resonate with you, please consider volunteering with the Marketing and Communications Committee, Inclusion and Expansion Committee or the Membership Committee. CONTACT US with your intentions to volunteer.
Specialty Crop Research Initiative
“The intent of the SCRI program is to address the needs of the various specialty crop industries through the promotion of collaboration, open communication, the exchange of information, and the development of resources that accelerate application of scientific discovery and technology. The priorities of SCRI reflects the needs of the specialty crops industries. This RFA is being released prior to the passage of an appropriations act for 2021. Enactment of additional continuing resolutions or an appropriations act may affect the availability or level of funding for this program. The anticipated amount available for support of this program in FY 2021 is approximately $80 million”
Plans for our virtual Annual Meeting are coming together. Save the morning of January 21, 2021 as that is the date for our meeting, as part of the Northwest Orchard and Vineyard Show. As always we will elect new board members and vote on any proposed changes to our Bylaws as well as hear reports from each of our committee chairs about progress in the previous year and plans for the year ahead. Plan to join us! We will email the specifics of time and agenda as we approach the date.
We recently had two setbacks regarding the 2021 Michigan Wine Competition: First, MSU has withdrawn their support for staffing and organization due to budget cuts; Second, committee Chair, Jay Briggs, has stepped down for personal reasons. At this time we have no one leading the efforts to make the 2021 Michigan Wine Competition a reality. We need your help! If you feel the wine competition is important then volunteer to either chair the wine competition committee or be a participant to help organize and execute activities as we enter 2021. Without help it is unclear if there will be a 2021 Michigan Wine Competition. Contact Emily Dockery, Gina Shay or me if you’re interested in helping.
With another reduction in tasting room services due to COVID, wineries across the state are feeling the pain of reduced sales. We all need to keep doing what we have been doing and double down on our efforts to wear masks, maintain social distancing, observe and enforce capacity limits, sanitize surfaces, wash hands don’t come to work if you don’t feel well. We need to get the case numbers down so we can offer tastings and wine by the glass in our tasting rooms and, so restaurants can reopen. The coming months will be challenging but we will get through the winter safely by working together. #staysafestayopen!
With 2020 coming to a close, I think I speak for all of us when I say I will be happy to see 2020 behind us. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for 2021 with COVID vaccines nearing approval. They offer hope of returning to “normal” by this time next year. Between now and then we have many challenges to meet. Working together will help us all get through this unprecedented time.
Here’s wishing everyone safe and healthy holidays!
Michigan Wine in the News
Check out notable mentions in the media featuring Michigan Wine Collaborative members and promoting the Michigan Wine Industry