I’m at the annual Michigan Wine & Grape Industry Council (MWGIC) meeting and in the interest of giving me something to do while I listen, I figured I would live blog a few of the things I’ve learned and people I’ve talked with. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments!
- The Michigan wine industry experienced a 14% gain from 2006-2007 (ten years of double digit growth for the Michigan wine industry). This parallels an overall 12% growth in agriculture in Michigan.
- Michigan ranks in the top 10 states in both wine production and grape growing. However, just 5% of grapes gown in Michigan are wine grapes. Reisling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc grapes enjoyed the highest increase in planting. We produced 960,000 gallons of wine last year.
- Michigan added nine new wineries in 2008 – now at 65
- Sharon Kegerris & Lorri Hathaway of From the Vine are working on a history of the Michigan Wine Industry that will be published in late 2009.
- In the US, wine consumption is now at 3 gallons per adult
An interesting project that the MWGIC is working on with MSU is to identify areas with suitable climate, soil and topography that are suitable for wine grape production. There’s a web site – I’ll find it. Found it! go to: grapes.msu.edu
Ed O’Keefe with Chateau Grand Traverse is calling on Michigan winemakers to join the International Reisling Foundation. Michigan makes some tremendous rieslings – and if you like dry wines, give some of our dry reislings a try!
Elena Amboyan of IRI Inc. (see bio) is speaking at the keynote. She’s a Michigan native and says that the only thing she loves more than Michigan is Michigan wine – that went over well with the crowd. By 2010 it appears that the US will be the world’s largest wine producer.
Well, I’ll wrap up here to go skiing on a sunny afternoon!