The state of Michigan, the ‘Wolverine State.’ Known for being the car capital of the United States and for its abusively cold winters. However, often-times unnoticed for being a wine producing state.
Over and over again we hear the same wine regions mentioned — rightfully so, they are producing world-class wines consistently. Nonetheless, other wine regions in the U.S. go virtually unnoticed. Unfortunatley, Michigan is one of those regions, and the Michigan Wine Collaborative (MWC) is out to change that.
About The MCW
Formed in 2016, the MWC is a non-profit organization that serves the Michigan wine industry and its consumers. Currently, their objective is industry exposure as well as education and accessibility for wine consumers. Above all, the aim of the non-profit is to enhance the sustainability and profitability of the Michigan wine industry.
Recently, I had the pleasure to participate in a virtual wine chat. The conversation was focused on the Michigan wine region. The chat took place via Twitter, hosted by Tina Morey, creator of #Winestudio. A program focused on wine education and grassroots marketing. If you don’t know who Tina Morey is, you should Google her.
Firstly, let me confess that before my participation in the chat my knowledge of Michigan wine was non-existent. How is that possible? After all… us, self-proclaimed wine enthusiasts type are supposed to be well versed on all wine regions. Aren’t we? While that sounds great, the simple answer is ‘no.’ Many worthy wine regions go unnoticed because… well, quite frankly, there is wine produced in all 50 states in the United States. Therefore, the focus is generally on only the most noteworthy.
Whew! Well, that was a mouthful.
The Goal for Michigan Wine
Michigan is increasingly garnering praise for the quality of its diverse varietals, including their most planted grape; Riesling.
Michigan’s goal is to set itself apart with versatility. With so many regions producing impressive wines, what is one thing that Michigan will do different/better to make them stand out above the rest with consumers?
“We are in a unique position to be able to appeal to classic wine lovers and more adventurous ones. When it comes to vinifera vs. Cold hardys or boutique wineries vs. grand estates or sweet wines to dry we can really service any type of wine drinker or travel enthusiast.”
I learned so much during the chat and as a result, have gained great respect for the Michigan wine industry. Thanks to the collaboration, industry exposure will undoubtedly be increased.
The five wines I tasted represented an excellent example of a region that certainly deserves a closer look. Moreover, they confirmed the MWC statement of being able to appeal to many types of wine drinkers.
St. Julian Winery Lake Michigan Shore AVA
Braganini Reserve Grüner Veltliner 2017
Awarded the 2017 Jefferson Cup for White Vinifera Wine.
Aromas of citrus, ripe green pears, and herbs. On the palate lemon zest, stone fruit, and crushed gravel. Bright acidity places a major role giving the wine a nice frame.
Mountain Road Winery Rieslings 2017
Dry with vibrant acidity. Fresh florals, and stone fruit on the nose. In the mouth, notes of pear, stone fruit and faint hints of tropical flavors.
This wine is refreshing and has good balance.
Amoritas Vineyards Leelanau Peninsula AVA
Fresh notes of slightly ripe tree fruit on the palate accented by citrus and a hint mineral. No oak or tannins. Light fun wine to pair with summer fare.
Fenn Valley Vineyards Lake Michigan Shore AVA
Pinot Grigio 2017
Fresh, bright aromas of citrus. Flavors of orchard fruit, and tart fresh citrus peel. Crisp acidity plays out through the finish. The wine is clean and refreshing.
The really nice acidity certainly lends a hand to fruit notes.
Chateau Chantal Old Mission Peninsula AVA
30 Year Old Reserve Chardonnay
Lovely aromatics of apples, citrusy fruits, and some hints of oak. Showing a slight butteriness on the palate, you’ll get lemon zest, brioche, pears, and melons. Pleasing acidity and minerality.
Overall, both the conversation and the wines were very enlightening. All wines reviewed were industry samples. However, the assessments made are mine.
For more information on the Michigan Wine Collaborative, and to learn more about Michigan wines visit www.michiganwinecolloborative.com.