Governor Declares April “Michigan Wine Month”

Eight New Wineries Open for 2009, Highlighting Growth in AG Sector
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LANSING, Mich., March 27, 2009 — Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has declared April “Michigan Wine Month” to honor Michigan’s wide selection of quality wines and the wine industry’s significant contribution to the economy. Michigan’s wine and grape industries contribute nearly $800 million to the state’s economy each year. Sales of Michigan wines rose 5 percent in 2008, while total wine sales experienced no increase.

“With eight new wineries slated to open this year, Michigan’s grape and wine industry demonstrates that our state is ripe for growth and opportunity,” said Granholm. “Michigan’s wine industry is an important component of the state’s $71.3 billion agri-food business sector and is vital to our tourism efforts.”

April is a great time to kick off winery touring. Tasting rooms are less busy in the spring, and tasting room staff are delighted to have time to provide extra attention. Many of Michigan’s 64 wineries will begin to release new wines from the 2008 vintage this spring; additional red wines from the outstanding 2007 vintage will also be available.

Several events are planned this spring and early summer that will provide opportunities to meet winemakers and sample a variety of Michigan wines, including:

• Michigan International Wine Expo – April 3-4 – Rock Financial Showplace, Novi – www.michiganwineexpo.com
• Michigan Wine Celebration – April 18-19 – Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail – www.pioneerwinetrail.com
• Spring Sip & Savor – May 2-3 – Leelanau Peninsula Vintners – www.lpwines.com
• Blossom Days – May 16-17 – Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula – www.wineriesofoldmission.com
• Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival – June 20 – Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail – www.miwinetrail.com

April will also see the release of the 2009 Michigan Wine Country magazine, an indispensable guide to the wines and wineries of Michigan. The magazine contains maps and touring information, as well as a section on “what’s new at the wineries” and notes on the winemakers’ favorite wines. To request a complimentary copy of Michigan Wine Country, visit www.michiganwines.com or contact the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council at 517-241-1207. The magazine is also available at all Michigan wineries and Travel Michigan Welcome Centers.

The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council is an 11-member panel that supports the growth of the grape and wine industry in Michigan. It is housed in the Agriculture Development Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, which is the official state agency charged with serving, promoting and protecting the food, agriculture and agricultural economic interests of the people of the state of Michigan.

Editor’s Note: This media release is available online at www.michiganwines.com. Partial list of Michigan wine events is enclosed. Visit the Web site for a more complete list of events.

April Michigan Wine Events

April 3
Winemaker’s Dinner. The Boathouse, Old Mission Peninsula. Featuring wines from Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery. 231-223-4030. www.boathouseonwestbay.com

April 3-4
Michigan International Wine Expo. Rock Financial Showplace, Novi. A unique fine wine and gourmet food experience, featuring wine tasting and seminars along with sampling from the area’s premier restaurants featuring light hors d’oeuvres. www.michiganwineexpo.com

April 4
Michigan Wine Month Opening Celebration. Sandhill Crane Vineyards kicks off Michigan Wine Month with new wine releases, hors d’oeuvres, and 5 percent off all wines. Mention “Michigan Wine Month” any time in April and receive a free “Pockete” corkscrew. 517-764-0679. www.sandhillcranevineyards.com

April 9
Drink Local! with Everyday Wines. Ann Arbor Art Center. April is Michigan Wine Month and our goal is to turn skeptics into Michigan wine drinkers. Come learn the latest about the Michigan wine scene as you taste a sampling of wines with Ron Sober, a judge at the annual Michigan Wine Competition.
734-994-8004. annarborartcenter.org (click on Education, then Workshops)

April 16
Winemaker’s Dinner. Tello’s Trattoria, South Haven. Join the winemaker from Fenn Valley Vineyards for this classic Italian dinner, complete with Fenn Valley wines paired with each course. 269-639-9898. www.fennvalley.com

April 17
Winemaker’s Dinner. The Boathouse, Old Mission Peninsula. Featuring wines from Bowers Harbor Vineyards. 231-223-4030. www.boathouseonwestbay.com

April 18
Tuscan Spring Dishes Cooking Seminar. Chateau Chantal, Old Mission Peninsula. Learn the luscious and lively cuisine of Italy and techniques of Tuscany! You’ll prepare dishes like wild forest leek and cabbage soup, pasta e ceci, braised tuna “in zimino”, lemon biscotti and zabaglione with strawberries. www.chateauchantal.com

April 18-19
Michigan Wine Celebration Weekend. Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail. Each winery along the trail will feature a generous tasting of one of their wines paired with a special appetizer or dessert. You’ll also receive a wine glass for tasting and a recipe card with their featured food. www.pioneerwinetrail.com

April 21
Wine Education Seminar. Pleasantview Vineyards, Harbor Springs. Vintner Dr. Jerry Perrone will present this seminar that includes foods for wine pairing and a field tour of the vineyard. Some of the topics to be covered are: grapevine production, the science of winemaking, testing wines with foods, glassware and more. 231-526-8100. www.pleasantviewwinery.us

April 24
Winemaker’s Dinner. The Boathouse, Old Mission Peninsula. Featuring wines from Two Lads Winery. 231-223-4030. www.boathouseonwestbay.com

April 25-26
Spring Fling Michigan Wine Tour. Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas. Package includes: motor coach transportation, one night at Grand Traverse Resort, catered box lunch at Chateau Grand Traverse, casino package, and complimentary shuttle to wine tastings at six wineries in the Traverse City area.
269-962-6676.

For a complete list of Michigan wine-related events, visit www.michiganwines.com.

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