News for the Michigan Wine Industry - December 2017

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December 2017

Please forward this e-newsletter to other members of your organization who might have interest in the articles. It's easy to subscribe -- follow the link at the bottom of any page at to be sure you don’t miss an issue. Back issues are posted on the website under Industry/Council Business/E-Newsletters. Feedback and suggested content is always welcome. Contact Karel Bush at 517-284-5742 or

In this Issue:

Register for the 2018 Michigan Grape and Wine Conference

Michigan Grape and Wine Conference logo

February 28-March 2, 2018

Radisson Plaza Hotel, Kalamazoo

Join more than 250 members of Michigan's wine industry for this annual conference, featuring educational sessions on grape and wine production, business management, sales and marketing.

Register before February 1 to receive the early-bird discount!

Reserve your hotel before February 5 to ensure the reduced room rate!

Details and register online at

The hotel is holding a block of rooms until February 5, 2018, at a reduced rate starting at $119 per night plus tax. Reserve online at and enter promotion code MGWC18, or call the hotel at 800-967-9033 and reference the Michigan Grape and Wine Conference.

Sponsorship and exhibitor information is available at
Prospective sponsors and exhibitors may contact Sherri Goodreau at or 517-284-5733 with questions. As you are speaking with suppliers to the industry, please encourage them to participate.

Highlights for the 2018 conference:

Michigan Wine Collaborative members receive a $20 discount!
Not a member yet? Visit for information and to join.

Michigan Certified Alcohol Service Training (Mi-CAST)
Are you a brand new winery with a tasting room? Or … did your tasting room strike gold with a hire but have no time to develop them into the employee that you need to start on day one? Or … are you a manager or business owner interested in teaching your team basics in making the sale in your tasting room with memorable customer service? This training is for you!

Current Viticultural Challenges - a German Perspective
Dr. Manfred Stoll, from Geisenheim University, will present this session virtually from Germany. Dr. Stoll will provide a historical perspective on mechanization, the impact on vineyard performance and fruit quality to precision viticulture. He will also cover various aspects of viticultural challenges on moderate climate.

Rethinking the Wine Consumer
With a hyper-focus on the product and virtually no focus on consumers, the wine and hospitality industries are missing the greatest opportunity of all: how to understand, engage, and communicate with consumers. Our speaker, Tim Hanni, MW, of myVinotype, spends his time researching and explaining just this.

Closing Celebration
Sponsored by Brick Packaging
Wineries across the state are producing high-quality beers and ciders in addition to award-winning wines. Enjoy samples of Michigan beer and cider, along with light hors d'oeuvres, as you celebrate the close of the Conference with colleagues and friends.

Tour of Southwest Michigan Wineries
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Southwest Michigan wineries. Starting with breakfast at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, tour participants will travel by bus to three wineries to hear from winery owners and staff about their business practices and experience in the industry. Breakfast and complimentary tastings included.

Thank you to our Generous Sponsors!

"Grand Cru" Sponsor:

Meijer logo

Closing Celebration Sponsor:

Brick Packaging

Premium Vintage Sponsor:

VESTA logo

Vintage Sponsor:

Custom Conveyor Concepts

Michigan Wine Collaborative Annual Meeting

Michigan Wine Collaborative

The Annual Meeting of the Michigan Wine Collaborative will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 4:30 PM, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo, Michigan, during the Michigan Grape & Wine Conference. The purpose of the meeting is for the election of directors and the transaction of such other business as may be properly brought before the meeting, including proposed bylaws changes. All are welcome to attend.

The Michigan Wine Collaborative (MWC) is a non-profit organization formed with the following mission…

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.

Michigan wine industry contributes $5.4 billion to the state

Results of the 2017 Economic Impact Study of Michigan’s wine industry are now available. The report indicates significant growth in the industry and contains many useful statistics. It estimates that the total economic impact of the industry is more than $5.4 billion, and is responsible for more than $243 million in tourism spending.

The results in this study can be leveraged for grants and lending institutions, marketing and media activities, legislative efforts and more. Appendixes of the report contain economic information, including tourism and jobs, by county and legislative district.

View the full report, download the summary and appendixes, and view the media release at

Many thanks to all who participated in the survey this past summer. Your responses helped to greatly increase the estimated value of the industry!

Please direct questions about the report and requests for localized infographics to Jenelle at

Note: John Dunham, owner of John Dunham & Associates, the firm that prepared the report, will present a session at the 2018 Michigan Grape & Wine Conference.

Rural Development Fund Grant accepting proposals

Proposals due January 16, 2018

MDARD is offering Rural Development grants to help address expansion and sustainability of land-based industries to benefit rural communities. Proposals are due by January 16, 2018 with a $100,000 maximum grant amount and a minimum 30% match required. Visit and click on Rural Development Fund Grants to find more information and to see if you are eligible. Sign up to receive email updates about Michigan agriculture grants.

Wine Grape Vineyard Establishment Conference February 9

MSU Extension

Conference will provide essential elements for those exploring entry into Michigan’s expanding winery industry

A wine grape establishment conference, held by Michigan State University Extension, will take place Feb. 9, 2018, at two locations using a webinar hybrid format. The program agenda calls for speakers from four states to address basic topics such as soil fertility, site selection, varieties, establishment costs, site preparation, planting and care, trellis construction and pest management in Benton Harbor and Traverse City.

Music Licensing Update from WineAmerica

WineAmerica logo

After many months of work, WineAmerica has announced a new winery license from ASCAP and a 10% discount for WineAmerica members. This new license lowers rates for wineries across the board, from moderate to substantial savings depending on usage. The 10% discount is a way for wineries to save even more once they are WineAmerica members. Additionally, they have made guidelines on music licensing public on their website:

If you are a WineAmerica member and are having difficulties with a PRO, WineAmerica staff can intervene on your behalf. They can potentially save you thousands of dollars depending on your usage.

If you're not already a member, I encourage you to consider joining WineAmerica. There are many benefits to being a member, including discounts (they currently offer a discount with ASCAP and will be working with BMI for a similar discount) and important information on regulation and business practices. They are the only national voice for the wine industry on federal issues. Consider joining today.

Visit for more information. Feel free to contact Tara Good at with any questions.

Council approves 8 more producers of Michigan wine!

At their November 30 meeting, the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council recognized the following applicants as "producers of Michigan wine", bringing the total to 139 approved wineries throughout the state: Spare Key Winery, Charlevoix; Red Top Winery, Baroda; Detroit Vineyards, Detroit; Glass Creek Winery, Hastings; Sabrosa Sangria, Shelby Twp; Owl Wineries, Roseville; Moonrise Winery, Watervliet; and Chateau Aeronautique, Onsted. The wineries are now eligible to participate in Council-sponsored promotion, including the Michigan Wine Country magazine and

New online course at MSU: Wine, Beer and Spirits Laws and Regulations

Online course begins January 8, 2018

Do you know the laws and regulations that apply to product labeling? Wouldn’t it be nice to know where to go to find the correct information before making a decision that ultimately could cost you money or be ruled non-compliant?

The Institute for Food Laws and Regulations (IFLR) at Michigan State University can provide answers and solutions during the upcoming spring semester in its new course led by IFLR Associate Director Melissa Card. The three-credit course – Wine, Beer and Spirits Laws and Regulations – will examine the laws, regulations, and policies that govern alcoholic beverages in the United States.

Eastern Winery Exposition March 6-8, 2018

Eastern Winery Exposition

Now in its 7th year, the Eastern Winery Exposition returns to Lancaster, PA and continues to be the largest winery and vineyard trade show held east of the Pacific states. You’ll have access to the experts from more than 180 exhibiting companies, 30 workshop and conference sessions, numerous networking opportunities and social events, two auctions, a blogging station, Meet the Experts, and the License to Steal wine marketing conference.

Michigan wineries receive a 10% discount on their registration. Contact Sherri Goodreau,, for the discount code.

Register online at

Upcoming industry meetings and conferences

Northwest Michigan Orchard and Vineyard Show - January 16-17
Grand Traverse Resort, Acme

Southwest Michigan Horticulture Days - February 7-8
Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor

Cold Climate Conference - March 15-17
Doubletree Hotel, Bloomington, Minnesota

Pure Michigan Agriculture Summit - March 14
Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi

FSMA Produce Safety Rule

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule establishes, for the first time, science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.

There is widespread belief that wineries processing wine grapes are exempt from the training required by this rule. That's not the case. Michigan State University will offer training in several locations around the state from January through March 2018.

Contact Phillip Tocco, MSU Extension Food Safety Educator, for additional information about winery compliance and upcoming training.

Do you have a Wine Club?

The Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council promotes winery wine clubs on If you have a wine club and don't see your winery on this website list, please contact Jenelle Jagmin,, 517-284-5790 to have your winery included on the list.

2017 Census of Agriculture underway

Response deadline is February 5, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) started mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to the nation's producers in late November. Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more.

Farm operations of all sizes which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2017 are included in the census. The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation.

5 Reasons You Should Respond

  1. If you're not counted, you're not considered. This is your best opportunity to strengthen the voice of agriculture with policymakers, decision-makers, Congress ... those people who are making important decisions that impact agriculture
  2. You're required by law to respond (the same law requires NASS to keep all information confidential and to use it only for statistical purposes)
  3. Census data helps USDA and other agencies develop programs to serve farmers in the areas most needed
  4. Disaster Relief: Census data is used to determine how much and what kind of aid may be needed in affected areas
  5. Census data helps justify funding for research and development of new technologies that benefit agriculture

MDARD International Marketing Program

International Marketing logo

Do you want to expand your market reach internationally? Are you interested in assistance with food or agricultural exports? There are many food and agriculture export marketing programs and services that the International Marketing Program offers in conjunction with various partners and service providers. For an overview of a few of the programs and services that are offered, please see this "Working Together to Reach the World" export brochure.

View the International Marketing Calendar of Events

For more information, contact Allie Fox VanDriel, International Marketing Program Coordinator, 517-284-5737 or

TTB application processing times available online

TTB Newsletter

You have applied for a permit, certificate of label approval, formula, or other approval from TTB. Now how long will it take us to process your application?

TTB's current processing times pages show recent processing times by calendar days. Use this information to estimate when your application is likely to be processed. If you applied online, you can check the status of your application at any time by logging into your account.

Michigan Agricultural Mediation Program

Michigan growers/farmers, including grape growers, can take advantage of mediation for disputes with USDA Agencies and with creditors and lenders through the Michigan Agricultural Mediation Program. Successful dispute resolution rates are high and there is no charge for the service.

Mediation has literally saved the farm in some situations and is almost always less expensive and time consuming than other dispute resolution alternatives.

Hats Off to ...

... Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail for working together to form "Traverse Wine Coast"

... WaterFire Vineyards for becoming the first vineyard in Michigan, and the first vineyard outside of California to be Certified Sustainable through the Sustainability In Practice (SIP) program

... Virtue Cider Lapinette and Left Foot Charley Henry's Pippin for being named among the 30 best hard ciders in the world by

... Marie-Chantal Dalese, CEO of Chateau Chantal, for earning the Certified Sommelier designation from The Court of Master Sommeliers

... Left Foot Charley for having their 2016 Pinot Blanc named by the Washington Post as one of the "Five wines that will see you through the holidays"

... Crane's Winery for receiving top awards at the World Cider Awards: Best American Flavored Cider for Apple Cherry Hard Cider, and Best American Specialty Cider for The Nepotist

... Northern Sun Winery for receiving Best of Class awards at Harvest Challenge International Wine Competition for 2016 Marquette and 2016 LaCrescent

... Several wineries for receiving high awards at Jefferson Cup Invitational: St. Julian Winery, Jefferson Cup for 2016 Braganini Reserve Gruner Veltliner; Left Foot Charley, Jefferson Cup for 2016 Blaufrankisch; White Pine Winery, Double Gold for 2016 Riesling Reserve; and Brys Estate Winery, Double Gold for 2012 Merlot

Media Clips

Bumper crop keeps Michigan wine flowing (Detroit News)

Winemaker squeezes history from Leelanau vineyard (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

Can Midwestern Wines Compete with California's? (Wall Street Journal)

Michigan by mail: Wine and cheese is a natural pairing (Detroit Free Press)

St. Julian Winery partners with "be nice" (WOOD TV)

Wine industry delivers $5.4 billion impact to Michigan (Moody on the Market)

Wine gaining ground in Michigan (Good Fruit Grower)

Michigan wine makes its first waves (

Michigan's wine industry booming (Brownfield Ag News)

Wine Adventures (Pure Michigan Radio Show)

Larry Mawby: About climate change and local wine (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

Michigan's wine industry adds $5.4B to state economy (dbusiness)

Wind your way through wineries in southwest Michigan (Daily Journal)

Warm start to harvest season helps grape crop have balanced finish (South Bend Tribune)

Working with winemakers: MSU's programs helps state go from 7 wineries in 1970 to more than 100 today (Crain's Detroit)

Black Star Farms Winery in Northern Michigan Reveals Midwest's First Flash Détente (dbusiness)

The 7 U.S. Wine Regions Giving Napa a Serious Run for its Money (Architectural Digest)

Winery appoints VP (Grand Rapids Business Journal)

Not quite a beer and not quite a wine (City Pulse)

Local wineries look to sustainable future (The Ticker)

House of Pure Vin showcases top-quality Michigan wines (Detroit Free Press)

Pinot Blanc: The Charming Cousin (Hour Detroit)

Great Lakes Great Wine (Industry Today)

Looking Beyond Cherries (Food Manufacturing)