Friday, February 19, 2010

4th Annual Northern Michigan Wine Summit

Monday, April 26 1-4:30 pm TC Opera House

1-2pm “State of the State” of Michigan Wine we will host some wine and industry experts to give an overview of the Michigan wine growth and the positive impact we have on the state and our region. From agricultural impact, to quality of life, and economic impact our industry is growing! We will tell our story and take time to answer questions about the industry. Any one is welcome but the presentation will especially interest restaurant owners & managers, store owners & managers, media, significant tourism & community leaders, wineries and other VIPs.

2-4:30pm Wine Trade Show (General Admittance Ticket needed, free to our neighbors in the service industry: hospitality, front desk, restaurant owners, managers, waitstaff, store owners, managers, clerks, media, tourism, community leaders, etc. Call for more information or tickets 231-223-4110 x11 Liz) Door prizes, fun, games, trivia….

WHAT TO DO: Invite your staff & co-workers to the afternoon trade session! We have included just 4 tickets, but if you need more we will have more available at the door or via email. The event is free to anyone in the local service or tourism industry.

5:30-7:30pm Public Wine Tasting the public will be invited to a wine tasting for $7/person. Cheeses, breads, crackers, and fruits will accompany the featured wines. An abbreviated “State of the State” will be offered at 6:30pm. A fun atmosphere will feature games, trivia, door prizes, and small silent auction to benefit the Michigan Wine Foundation. Many local restaurants will offer special discounts on Monday evening to patrons with a NoMiWi ticket

WHAT TO DO: If you are associated with have a restaurant or store we can feature you on our “Friends of Michigan Wine” list. This list we be given to everyone purchasing a ticket for the evening wine tasting. Offer a coupon or special to be redeemed on the day of the summit. Let us know if you would like to be featured and what you would like to offer!

NoMiWi on Facebook

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wineries reach out to boost business

By sharing information and products with ambassadors of the business they hope to give a boost to the area.

By Jess Miller
Monday, April 27, 2009 at 4:44 p.m.

LEELANAU & GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTIES -- Local wineries featured this years newest and last years best products today. They hoped to show the people they consider ambassadors to the wine industry just what Northern Michigan has to offer. The 3rd Annual Northern Michigan Wine Summit was held in Traverse City.

Throughout the day wineries from Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsula's offered up their products to representatives of the restaurant, tourism and media relations businesses. They hoped to show the impact the wine industry has on Northern Michigan and the rest of the state. Organizers say they want this event to grow.

"We hope to, in future years, add more educational opportunities, have classes with the college, have other wine experts in from out of town to educate people about wine so each year they get a little bit bigger, a little bit easier to plan, a little bit more successful," said Liz Berger from Chateau Chantel.

Northern Michigan is home to over 850 acres of vineyards which are used by the more than two dozen area wineries. Combined they produce more than 150,000 cases of wine each year.

We're off to a great start...

Nearly 100 business leaders and those with a vested interest in the Northern Michigan wine industry are gathered at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City for the Northern Michigan Wine Summit.

Follow the action live:



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Local Vintners Highlight the Wine Industry at the 3rd Annual Northern Michigan Wine Summit

(Old Mission & Leelanau Peninsulas, Mich) - The 3rd Annual Northern Michigan Wine Summit returns to Traverse City on Monday, April 27 at the NMC Hagerty Center as the wineries of both Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsula collaborate to increase the awareness and quality of their award-winning industry. The event is in three parts:

-- A morning panel for local VIPs

-- An afternoon trade show with wine seminars, wine tasting, door prizes and silent auction

-- A wine dinner featuring specially paired local wines and foods

“This event allows us to identify and educate those in the service industry who are ambassadors for local wines,” says Liz Berger from Chateau Chantal Winery on Old Mission Peninsula. “We’ll give them the tools they need to inform their staff and ultimately their customers about the quality wines that we are producing this region.”

From 9-11:30 am a group of distinguished panelists will offer an outsiders perspective of the Northern Michigan wine region, addressing not only the quality of the wines but the impression the industry has throughout the state and country, and the impact that the wine industry has on the local, regional and state tourism economy. The audience of the morning panel discussion will be restaurant owners & managers, store owners & managers, media, significant tourism & community leaders, wineries and other VIPs. Seats for the morning will be limited to 100 people.

Moderator for the morning’s discussion will be Chef Eric Villegas, host of the PBS Show “Fork in the Road” and author of the Michigan Notable Cookbook of the same name. Panelists include:

-- Linda Jones, Program Manager, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, Lansing Michigan

-- Claudia Tyagi, Master Sommelier: Wine Genie: Fine food & Wine, Michigan

-- Elizabeth Schweitzer, Master Sommelier, California

-- Leonard Pennachetti, President, Cave Spring Cellars Ontario, Canada

-- Mark Esterman, Meijer - Wine Buyer/Category Manager Grand Rapids, Michigan

At noon a trade-show featuring local wineries will open for restaurant owners & managers & waitstaff, store owners & managers & clerks, media, hoteliers, tourism & community leaders, and the general public. Each participating winery will have a tasting table and information about their wines. This will be a great opportunity to meet will local wineries and try many local wines all in one location. Door prizes and select items will be featured in a silent auction to raise money for the Michigan Wine Foundation. The panelists will offer seminars throughout the day including:

-- Claudia Tyagi: “Featuring Michigan wines in your restaurant wine program / Michigan Wines by the glass”

-- Mark Esterman: "Regional Wine Impact on the Wine Category and Reasons to Forward These Interests"

-- Linda Jones: "My, how we've grown!" A brief history of the Michigan wine industry, with a focus on the NoMiWi region, recent growth trends and forecast for the future.

-- Eric Villegas: "Think Global- Buy & Eat Local"

-- Leonard Pennachetti: “Vintner’s Quality Alliance-Ontario-The Next 20 Years, Turning the Land into the Brand”

-- Elizabeth Schweitzer: “Evaluation - Tasting, Talking About and Appreciating” Michigan Wines

At 6pm the day will be capped off with a wine dinner of specially paired local wines and foods. The dinner will be hosted at Trattoria Stella, in Building 50 at The Village. Tickets will be $50/person and are available from all participating wineries.

Northern Michigan is a rapidly growing wine region, currently producing world-class wines which impact not only the local economy but which also contribute to the state’s nearly $19 billion tourism industry. The Northern Michigan vintners have become a catalyst for Michigan, drawing attention to the state’s overall image as a year-round agri-tourism destination. Northern Michigan is home to over 850 acres of vineyards which are used by the over 24 area wineries to produce more than 150,000 cases of wine each year. For more details about the impact of the wine industry on Michigan’s economy visit:

2009 Northern Michigan Wine Summit Sponsors: Irwin Union Bank, Brick Packaging, and “The 45th” Magazine.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2009 Northern Michigan Wine Summit

This year's event will be held on Monday, April 27 at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute at Hagerty Center.

More details coming soon.

For more information, contact
Kristin Karam at

Thursday, May 1, 2008

How Northern vintners can turn skeptics into believers

by Cari Noga

Traverse City, Mich. -- Michigan wineries could be ideally positioned to capitalize on the locavore trend--but they might have to be a little sneaky about it at first. That paradox emerged at the second annual Northern Michigan Wine Summit on April 28, a promotional and tasting gathering of 20 wineries from the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas in northwest Michigan.

Locavores--the growing ranks of the environmentally and edibility-conscious who deliberately seek out food and drink produced locally--would seem ideal prospective customers for regional wineries. But these still fight skepticism about Michigan wine, despite increasing critical acclaim and a flourishing industry, now up to nearly 60 wineries.

"I almost have to trick them," executive chef John State of the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, said of convincing guests in his hotel in Michigan's second-largest city to try Michigan wines as well as foods. Heads of the nearly 100 winery representatives and restaurateurs in attendance nodded in agreement.

"What is it about our culture that says it must be better if it's from somewhere else? That drives me crazy," said moderator Eric Villegas, chef and host of the PBS food show "Fork in the Road."

But once they do taste it, customers are believers--or, more to the point, buyers. Sales of Michigan wines were up 14% last year, according to industry figures, while wine sales overall rose just 3%.

Master sommelier Claudia Tyagi, an independent wine consultant in metro Detroit, told winemakers she doesn't necessarily sell--nor need they--their wines as customer-worthy just because they're from Michigan. Rather, they should pitch their wines as equals to other standouts of the same varietal.

"You don't have to try it as a Michigan wine," she said. "If it performs in the glass, that's what's important."

Winemaker Adam Satchwell of Shady Lane Cellars in Suttons Bay, told of attending a recent wine dinner in Boston, part of a trip to tout his wines there. At the dinner, he found his wines labeled "exotic." After initially laughing, he said he realized that description had a positive connotation, too."

This was something new, something different, something exciting," said Satchwell, who's also president of the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association. "This is all about discovery"--which appeals to locavores.

Some winemakers said they don't get a chance to have their wine discovered, however. Winemaker Tony Ciccone of Ciccone Vineyard and Winery in Suttons Bay said he feels "shooed away" when he tries to sell his wine to restaurants. "Get a thicker skin," panelists responded."

The burden's on you, to a degree," said sommelier Madeline Triffon of Detroit's Matt Prentice restaurant group. "If we're not putting a little bit of sweat equity into finding a couple (Michigan) wines to list, shame on us. But you're making it too hard for us," she said, noting that Monday's summit took place 250 miles away from Detroit, where Michigan wine consumers are concentrated. "Why don't you have an event like this in metro Detroit?"Besides how to best position Michigan wines in the marketplace, Monday's summit included:

  • Some cautionary words about pricing, given Michigan's slumping, auto-dependent economy. "This is hardball," Triffon said.
  • Both blind and winery-sponsored tasting tables open to an expected 200 restaurant servers attending to learn how to sell Michigan wines to the vacation crowds that flock to Traverse City every summer.

  • Journalist Richard Leahy noting that Riesling sales were up 27% last year, the fastest-growing white variety in the U.S. "Michigan is fortunate, especially northwest Michigan, in having a natural terroir for Riesling," Leahy said.