Michigan Wine Month Is Here!

May celebration kicks off with catchy slogans, formal recognition from the governor, and a roster of fun events
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Photo by Kyle Brownley for Chateau Chantal

Michigan Wine Month is here, and with it, catchy slogans to jazz up your social media posts, formal recognition from the governor, and a roster of fun events throughout the state.

Last week, the Michigan Wine Collaborative announced the winning slogans of its “You Name It” contest, which the organization created to promote Michigan Wine Month. In first place is “MI, What Great Wines You Have!” followed by “Great Lakes, Great Wines, Great Times!” and “Sippin’ in the Mitten.”

Out of the roughly 40 entries, “MI, What Great Wines You Have!” stood out to the Collaborative right away.

“That one definitely caught my eye right off the bat, as soon as it came through,” says Emily Dockery, the nonprofit’s executive director. “I thought it was adorable.”

Brian Lillie, the vice president of the Collaborative, echoes that sentiment.

“It was just so different from everything else that I was expecting, and … it stood out to me as the winner of the bunch,” he says.

The first-place slogan also addresses a topic at the heart of the Collaborative’s goals: improving public perception of the quality of Michigan’s wines.

“That’s been part of our initiative forever is trying to change the conversation in that direction,” Lillie says. “I don’t know if we could pay a marketing company to come up with a better slogan. I think it’s perfect.”

The Collaborative is encouraging wine lovers to keep the “You Name It” campaign’s momentum going this month by continuing to share pictures on social media of themselves enjoying Michigan wines and captioning the photos with one of the winning slogans. In addition, the Collaborative is asking posters to continue using the campaign’s hashtag, #MayMIWineMonth.

Recognition from the State
Beyond the slogan contest, Michigan Wine Month is being commemorated more formally as well. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has once again declared May to be Michigan Wine Month, noting in her proclamation the wine industry’s $5.4 billion impact on the state’s economy and the role of vineyards and wineries in Michigan’s thriving tourism and agriculture industries.

Receiving such recognition from the governor is significant, Lillie says, noting that many people — even native Michiganders — think of Michigan as a manufacturing state first and foremost and don’t realize the enormous impact agriculture has on the economy.

“Once you put the zeroes behind $5.4 billion, that’s a huge number,” he says.

In addition, Lillie adds, the average consumer isn’t too far removed from the people propelling the Michigan wine industry.

“You’re really two degrees away from a Michigan winemaker or a Michigan grape grower or somebody that’s involved in the Michigan wine industry,” he says. “A lot of times [when] you go to your retailer and buy [wine] off the shelf, the person that’s selling it to that retailer is the person who personally crafted that wine. With … 170 wineries throughout the state, that’s not being separated too far.”

Events to Enjoy All Month Long
Of course, it wouldn’t be Michigan Wine Month without a slew of wine-related festivities happening throughout the state.

Up North, the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail is once again hosting Rosé All May. For $35, ticketholders will receive a signature glass souvenir and pours of select rosés from more than 20 participating wineries along the trail.

Traverse City Uncorked will also be happening all month long. Using a digital passport to take a self-guided tour, visitors to wineries along the Traverse Wine Coast will enjoy special offers, savings, and an opportunity to win a prize when they visit five different wineries.

On May 21, the Petoskey Wine Region will be hosting Petoskey Uncorked at the Odawa Casino. For $40, guests will be able to sample wines from 14 local wineries and enjoy appetizers and entertainment.

In Berrien Springs in Southwest Michigan, Lemon Creek Winery will be closing out Michigan Wine Month — and kicking off the unofficial start to summer — with its Art and Wine Festival over Memorial Day weekend (May 28–29).

Check out michiganwinecountry.com/events to learn more about wine events happening throughout the state. The Michigan Wine Collaborative and its affiliated Vintage Michigan wine club will also be posting wine-related events online.

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