WaterFire: Celebrating Sustainability — and an Anniversary

WaterFire Vineyards, the Midwest’s first Certified Sustainable vineyard, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this summer. Owners Chantal Lefebvre and Mike Newman moved to Michigan in 2007 from Boston. While the two already had established careers, they wanted to be closer to family and were seeking a change in lifestyle for themselves and their young son.

Vineyard Vows

When Austin Robbins and Alana Rose of Rochester Hills had to cancel their wedding venue at the last minute earlier this summer — they’d booked an indoor space that with COVID-19 restrictions meant they couldn’t have everyone they’d invited attend — a family friend mentioned that Youngblood Vineyard in northern Macomb County might be a good replacement.

Hit the (Winery) Trails

While the COVID-19 pandemic called for all businesses to make adjustments, Round Barn Estate and Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant — both owned by Moersch Hospitality Group — had a perfect plan. Looking for ways to engage guests outdoors in spring 2020, they turned preexisting trails connecting the two Southwest Michigan properties into Mt. Tabor Trails, a 3.5-mile trail system for guests.

Evolving with the Industry — in Michigan and Beyond

Shelley Bynum is sommelier and wine director at House of Pure Vin on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. She got into the wine business as a second career, having started out in marketing and public relations. When she was in her 20s in the 1990s, she hosted tasting events in Atlanta, Georgia, for people under 40. The purpose, she says, was to “knock wine off its pedestal.”

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Chateau Grand Traverse Grape Bins
Photo of Chateau Grand Traverse: Traverse City Tourism

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