Josh Morgan’s weekly Destemmed Facebook Live series started out of a need to communicate with the public amid a statewide stay-at-home order.
But it may outlive COVID-19 because he’s finding that people want to learn more about the ins and outs of the wine business.
The winemaker at Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery launched Destemmed because he was seeing a lot of winemaking questions come from consumers at the same time many wineries were turning to virtual tastings as a way to connect during the pandemic.
“I decided everybody was doing virtual tastings now, so how do I switch it up and do something different and unique and also educate consumers?” says Morgan, whose 2018 Marquette Rosé was just featured in the June-July issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. “My goal was to demystify what goes on in the cellar, to kind of give people a behind-the-scenes look at the stuff we talk about when we all get together at conferences or tastings.
“I just wanted to be completely transparent in the sense of what we’re doing and just educate.”
One of his first guests was Dr. Anna Katharine Mansfield of the Cornell University Department of Food Science, who discussed the cold-hardy grapes Petoskey Farms is growing. He’s also featured representatives from Scott Laboratories, which supplies wineries with products such as yeast, additives and the like, and Gina Shay, who is vice president of the Michigan Wine Collaborative and works in business development for Tonnellerie Cadus, to talk about barrels.
“It’s keeping the consumer in mind and trying to bring it down to the consumer level of why we do what we do and the decisions that go into this whole process,” Morgan says.
He expects to offer installments every other week as summer gets into full swing. Future topics might include vineyard care, harvest, equipment and crushing and pressing.
“I want to cover all aspects,” he says.
To get updates on future Destemmed LIVE events and to view videos of previous editions, visit the Petoskey Farms Facebook page.