The #MichiganWineMonthChallenge is in its final week offering $10 chances to bid on winery gift packages and help furloughed Michigan hospitality workers.
So far, nearly $8,800 has been raised and organizers are hoping to make it to $10,000 with a final push the next few days.
The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) and Michigan Wine Collaborative launched the #MichiganWineMonthChallenge to coincide with Michigan Wine Month, May 2020. The challenge is offering opportunities for individuals to bid on exclusive experiences at participating Michigan wineries.
The MRLA’s Amanda Smith says that bidders are averaging about six bids each, with some exceeding $100.
“Selling $50 raffle tickets is hard to do,” she says, “but then the idea of buying five or six at $10” is an easier sell.
All proceeds from the #MichiganWineMonthChallenge are going to The Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund, created by the MRLA to provide grants to the state’s hospitality industry employees who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. About $6,000 has been raised so far. Awards of $400 are given to workers who apply for assistance.
To participate, purchase virtual tickets for $10 each to bid on the prize packages you’d like to win. Each ticket equals one entry. The more virtual tickets participants submit, the better the odds of winning. The drawing will take place on the MRLA Facebook page live at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 3, at facebook.com/theofficialmrla/.
Meanwhile, those who win the packages may be able to use them sooner than later. Many wineries in northern Michigan have opened or are getting ready to after being given the go-ahead by the state as of May 22, and others are making plans to reopen with new distancing and safety measures in place when they get the green light.
Buy virtual tickets online at mrlaef.org/michigan-wine-month-challenge-submission-form.html. The packages can be viewed at mrlaef.org/relief-fund/michigan-wine-month-challenge.html.
Here’s a list of participating wineries and the packages they are offering.
Love Wines Winery of Ludington: $100 gift card and private winery tour, along with tastings and a cheeseboard.
Modales Wines: A meal for six with the family at Modales Wines on the patio.
Mawby Sparkling Wines: A private Table Four2 experience offering four unique food and wine pairings in the vineyard.
Amoritas Vineyards: A vineyard picnic for four with the owners in a gazebo overlooking the vines, and a gift bag of picnicking essentials, including a blanket and Freeze Cups.
2 Lads Winery: A barrel tasting and pairing dinner for six, along with wine club membership for a year and dinner for two at The Cooks’ House in Traverse City.
Fenn Valley Vineyards: A multicourse wine dinner with the winemakers in the winery’s vintage garden, a patio overlooking the vineyards.
St. Julian Winery & Distillery: 1: A private multicourse wine dinner for eight with the winemakers and owners/growers. 2: VIP-enhanced tour and barrel tastings for eight, with wine club membership for one year.
Left Foot Charley: A behind-the-scenes tour of the winemaking facility and barrel room, tastings of wines and ciders, and a Barrel Room Board.
Chateau Chantal: A multicourse dinner for four, paired with Chateau Chantal wines, prepared by the chef with founding family members.
Bonobo Winery: Wine pairings and a multicourse dinner for four in the vines with Todd Oosterhouse and Cornel Olivier.
Shady Lane Cellars: A self-guided bike tour from Suttons Bay Bikes includes lunch at Shady Lane, along with a vineyard tour and tasting experience.
Winery at Black Star Farms: An exclusive tasting with the winery founder and grower in his most prized vineyard.
Hawthorne Vineyards: A gourmet picnic lunch for four served with estate wines overlooking East and West Grand Traverse bays.