MICHIGAN WINE COUNTRY NEWS AND FEATURES
A celebration of the Traverse Wine Coast returns in May after being shelved last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from Traverse City Tourism. Traverse City Uncorked will feature self-guided tours of more than 40 area wineries while offering incentives, hotel discounts and a chance to win prizes.
You can say a lot about the pandemic, and most of it wouldn’t be all that great. On the plus side, however, it created new opportunities for regional winemakers to connect with consumers, says Bryan Ulbrich, owner/winemaker at Left Foot Charley in Traverse City.
The picturesque Irish Hills region of southeastern Michigan is home to a new winery. The Winery North of 12 in Brooklyn is the brainchild of Sylvania, Ohio, resident Corey Gray, a hobbyist winemaker for more than two decades. Gray, who is 61, recently decided it was time for a change of pace after 40 years working for himself as a commercial photographer.
Enjoying a glass of wine or two at a tasting room is a treat that many Michiganders had become accustomed to before COVID-19 came along. Since then, wineries have had to adjust their tastings and other activities in myriad ways with varying results. But one thing has remained constant: One way or another, Michigan wine fans won’t be deterred.
It all started with a bottle of wine — a really, really nice bottle of wine, back in 2001. Aimee Mali — now 44 — was on the hunt to buy a special wine she could give as a wedding gift. The internet was new then, so she took herself to a store where she could talk to “the wine guy.”
The Michigan Craft Beverage Council (MCBC) has announced that nine projects will receive funding through its 2021 research grant program.
Many Michigan wineries have turned to the outdoors to appeal to new and returning visitors as they adhere to current social distancing and ventilation guidelines in an effort to keep everyone safe from COVID-19. Vintners such as Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery near Traverse City and Dablon Vineyards in Baroda are offering opportunities to take in the crisp, bucolic sights while enjoying a beverage or two.
For the first time in more than four decades, Chateau Grand Traverse is operating without its illustrious founder, Ed O’Keefe Jr., somewhere nearby. It won’t be quite the same. O’Keefe Jr. died on New Year’s Day at his home in the inn at the Old Mission Peninsula winery he built.
What Michigan wines are you interested in this holiday season? How do you pair them with foods?
While their tasting rooms remain closed, Michigan wineries are celebrating the holidays in creative ways this year. At the Inn at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, the staff reimagined a beloved annual tradition — brunch with Santa — as a drive-thru visit with the jolly old elf Dec. 12.
Michigan wineries, like bars and restaurants, are closed to indoor tastings at least through Dec. 20 per the current order by the state health department to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Some have been able to offer space for outdoor tastings, but beyond that, they are relying on online orders and curbside or indoor pickups to satisfy consumers’ holiday wine consumption and gifting needs.
The state of Michigan has released guidance clarifying the options that Michigan wineries, like restaurants and bars, have for outdoor structures to provide service during the three-week "Pause to Save Lives" that took effect...
A collective sigh of relief arose from Michigan’s wine industry when the state lifted a pandemic shelter-in-place order in early June that had shuttered them for all but curbside and online sales — just in time for summer business to pick up. They’ve been operating at reduced capacity since, and with stringent safety measures including mask-wearing, revised tasting protocols, enhanced sanitizing, expanded outdoor seating areas and other preventive steps.