MICHIGAN WINE COUNTRY NEWS AND FEATURES

Traverse City Uncorked Returns in May 2021

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.

Celebrating Local Wines — in Michigan and Beyond

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.

Q&A with Robin Barker at End of the Road Winery

Robin and Jim Barker own End of the Road Winery in the Upper Peninsula community of Germfask. Operating a manufacturing facility, tasting room, indoor and outdoor seating and a 3.5-acre vineyard is Jim’s “dream...

Michigan’s Irish Hills Welcomes New Winery

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.

Q&A with Chuck Jackson Jr.

Meet Chuck “Vino Papi” Jackson Jr., also known as “The Wine Guy.” He’s spent 20 years in the wine industry, primarily as a wine educator.

Rising to the Challenge

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.

Uncorking a Dream

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.”

Michigan Craft Beverage Council Announces Recipients of 2021 Research Grants

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council (MCBC) has announced that nine projects will receive funding through its 2021 research grant program.

Q&A: The Chef’s In at Black Star Farms

John Wojnarski was recently named the estate chef at Black Star Farms in Leelanau County.A 2012 graduate of Traverse City’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute, he had worked at the winery in the two years...

Wine Tasting in a Winter Wonderland

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.

‘Once in a Generation’

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.

No Winery Before Its Time

When Peter King was growing up in metro Detroit, his dad used to make wine every autumn. “We had a small grapevine in the backyard — one grapevine — and he would make a small batch every year,” recalls King, 37, who works as an accountant.

Certified Sommelier: Michigan Wines to Serve at the Holidays

What Michigan wines are you interested in this holiday season? How do you pair them with foods?

Recipes Tie Generations Together

The people who make up Michigan’s wine industry are a family-oriented bunch. We asked them to share a favorite holiday recipe and its back story. In the middle of this crazy, pandemic holiday season, many were kind enough to respond.

Getting Creative to Celebrate the Holidays

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.

’Tis the Season for Wine Gifts and Deals

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.

‘2020 Was Social Distancing; 2021 Will Be Hugs’

Jim Tresize, president of WineAmerica, included this Thanksgiving message of gratitude in his recent newsletter. Except for the wildfires and hurricanes, it's as applicable here in Michigan as anywhere else. In case you didn't...

Igloos (With Restrictions), Tents With One Wall Are In for Outdoor Service at Michigan...

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...

It’s Spring All Over Again for Michigan Wineries

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.

Documenting an Industry

Marvin Shaouni has been fascinated with wine since he worked in a high-end restaurant in the late 1990s. It was then that the Detroit-based editorial and commercial photographer got to know master sommelier Madeline Triffon.

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