(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: http://www.michiganwines.com/page.php?menu_id=19
2009 Northern Michigan Wine Summit Sponsors: Irwin Union Bank, Brick Packaging, and “The 45th” Magazine.