April has been designated Michigan Wine Month to honor the state’s wide selection of quality wines and the wine industry’s significant contribution to the economy. Michigan’s wine and grape industries contribute nearly $790 million to the state’s economy each year. Michigan’s 50 wineries won more than 600 medals in 2006 at national and international wine competitions.
April is a good time to kick off winery touring. Tasting rooms are less busy than in summer and fall and many of Michigan’s wineries also begin to release new wines. This spring will see the release of additional red wines from 2005 – regarded by all the state’s winemakers as the best ever. The first white wines from the 2006 vintage will also be available, including many classically styled, crisp and delicious whites.
There are many events planned this spring that provide opportunities to meet winemakers and sample a variety of Michigan wines, including:
- Michigan Wine Celebration – April 21-22 – Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail
- Spring Into Summer – April 21-22 – Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail
- Wine & Food Festival – April 27-29 – Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
- Women’s Wine Weekend – May 4-5 – Leelanau Peninsula Vintners
- Blossom Days – May 19-20 – Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula
April Michigan Wine Events
April 17 & 24
Wines of Michigan Class. Washtenaw Community College. This course highlights the unique features of Michigan wines, including similarities to and differences from those of California and Europe. Learn how wines are made; what factors contribute to the diverse flavors; and how to taste, enjoy and select wines. Includes wine sampling and discussion. 7:00-8:55 pm. $51 for two sessions. Register online!
Winemaker Dinner Weekend. Chateau Grand Traverse. Join the Winemaker and Chef Perry Harmon for an evening of fine foods paired with CGT wines. Includes two-night stay for two at The Inn, wine and cheese reception, deluxe breakfast bar, private tour and tasting, and dinner with the winemaker. $550 per couple for the entire weekend! (231) 223-7355.
Wine Immersion Seminar. Chateau Chantal. An all-day event providing an excellent overview of winemaking, viticulture, and food and wine pairing. Hosted by witty and passionate winemaker Mark Johnson. Includes a vineyard walk, peasant’s lunch, cellar tour, wine tastings, learning materials, and multi-course gourmet dinner paired with Chantal wines. $125. Limit 30 people.
Spring Into Summer! Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail. Collect ideas to pair the perfect wines with “outside eats and sweets”! Pick up a bottle at each winery and plan your own wine tasting cookout! $25. Reservations required. (800) 716-9463 or purchase tickets online.
Michigan Wine Celebration. Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail. Sample foods made with Michigan wines, and enjoy a glass of wine paired with each. Receive a small, Michigan-related gift at each winery along the Trail. $25. Purchase tickets online.
Taste of Michigan Wine Tasting. Champane’s Wine Cellar, Warren. Sample from a large selection of traditional and exotic Michigan wines, including Champagne style, and wines from the “Fruit off of the Vine” such as raspberries, apples, peaches, pears, blackberries and cherries. $15. Proceeds benefit Cub Scout Pack 1477. (586) 268-4900.
Wine & Food Festival. Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, Acme. Package includes two nights lodging, strolling wine & food reception with local wines on Friday evening, Saturday winery tours and winemaker dinner with winemakers from five award-winning Grand Traverse region wineries. (800) 748-0303.
Winemaker’s Pre-Release Dinner. St. Julian-Paw Paw. Join St. Julian’s President, Winemaker and Assistant Winemaker, to celebrate the first vintage of Braganini Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, as part of this special wine dinner. A Provence-inspired menu will highlight their diverse selection of white wines. $75. Reservations required. (800) 732-6002.
Michigan Wine Month Closing Celebration. Sandhill Crane Vineyards closes out Michigan Wine Month with light hors d’oeuvres and a 5% discount on all wines. Register to win a Michigan Gift Basket. (517) 764-0679.
This is just a sample of the Michigan wine-related events throughout the state. For a complete list, visit www.michiganwines.com.