Michigan Wine Industry Gives Back in a Time of Pandemic Crisis

Lake Michigan Shore wineries pool resources; Chateau Chantal donates; Chateau Grand Traverse matches donors


Even as Michigan wineries continue to cope with the effects of having their tasting rooms closed and revenue disrupted by COVID-19, some are finding ways to give back.

In Southwest Michigan, the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail (LMSWT) collaborated with St. Julian Winery & Distillery and some of its other members to figure out a way to support communities within the Lake Michigan Shore American Viticultural Area. The trail purchased 65 cases of wine from member wineries to be distributed to health care workers in the area.

“We hear about the struggles being felt by these dedicated nurses, doctors, aides, first responders and all who are tirelessly working to help those stricken by this pandemic,” says Kathy Sturm, LMSWT executive director.

St. Julian coordinated efforts of distributing wine, along with hand sanitizer, through emergency agencies in Allegan, Van Buren, Kalamazoo and Berrien counties.

Other wineries that participated were 12 Corners Vineyards, Baroda Founders Wine Cellar, Cody Kresta Vineyard and Winery, Cogdal Vineyard and Little Man Winery, Contessa Wine Cellars, Domaine Berrien Cellars, Fenn Valley Vineyards, Hickory Creek Winery, Karma Vista Vineyards, Lake Michigan Vintners, Lawton Ridge Winery, Lemon Creek Winery and White Pine Winery.

Chateau Chantal Donates $6,500+

Chateau Chantal just completed a month of contributions to local organizations providing COVID-19 relief.

Chateau Chantal CEO Marie-Chantal Dalese (photo courtesy of Chateau Chantal)

The Old Mission Peninsula winery earmarked 15 percent of its online April sales to make for $6,557 in donations to the following nonprofits: The Good Bowl Hospitality Relief fund, Northwest Michigan Health Services, Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency’s Meals on Wheels and the Crosshatch Artist Emergency Fund.

While the winery’s tasting room has been closed due to state-imposed pandemic restrictions, Chateau Chantal experienced an uptick in online orders over the month.

“Giving back to our community has always been a piece of our fabric,” says CEO Marie-Chantal Dalese. “We wanted to identify and work with organizations that were providing critical relief to our fellow hospitality industry workers, the medical community and those needing at-home services.”

Chateau Grand Traverse Steps Up

Meanwhile, neighboring Chateau Grand Traverse continues to offer online customers the option of donating $5 to Step Up Northern Michigan. The Traverse City area program provides meals for families who are homeless or in need.

Chateau Grand Traverse is matching every $5 donation up to $50 per individual. The promotion currently runs through May 16.




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