Wine industry is good news for Michigan

vineyardHere’s yet another national feature on Michigan wines that highlights the Leelanau Peninsula. John Flesher of the Associated Press touts the wine industry as one on the bright spots in Michigan’s economy, as it is growing 5 times faster that the state’s economy. The article quotes Leelanau winemaker Dan Matthias as saying “It’s one of the brightest spots we have in the state of Michigan.” It continues:

Michigan’s reputation for quality wine has surged while its lineup of varieties has expanded. Wineries are now turning highly regarded selections of merlot, pinot noir, pinot blanc, cabernet franc and ice wines, a dessert variety made with grapes frozen before harvesting.

“It’s been like an explosion the last couple of years. They’ve been winning medals left and right, competing across the U.S. and internationally,” said Yolanda Daly, director of the Pacific Rim Wine Competition in San Bernadino, Calif. “Beautiful wines are coming out of Michigan.”

As word spreads, businesses in Michigan’s wine regions reap the benefits. About 1 million people visit the state’s wineries each year. They tend to have enough money for dining out, buying gifts and entertainment, said Brad Van Dommelen, president of the convention and visitors bureau in Traverse City, recently named by TripAdvisor.com as one of America’s top 10 wine destinations. (read)

The industry pumps about $300 million into the state’s economy each year and employs thousands of people in wine production and spinoff jobs in hotels, restaurants and shops.

“We’re also making lists of the top foodie towns because of our restaurants,” Van Dommelen said. “When you offer a top-quality wine experience along with that, it’s huge for tourism—and for the entire local economy.”

Beyond the quality of the wines, we have a very special wine touring destination that provides a playground for families and individuals that you just can’t match in most other wine regions in the country.

Photo credit: vineyard by beachpiks

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