Description 1 of 2

 

Michigan is one of the earliest states to have been settled and produce wine. In the 1670s, when the French arrived along the Rue Détroit (doesn’t it sound lovely that way?), they discovered indigenous grapes growing along the banks and used them for wine. Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, founder of Detroit, built Fort Pontchartrain in the early 1700s and planted grapes there for personal wine consumption. Joseph Sterling established the state’s first commercial winery, Pointe Aux Peaux, in Monroe in the 1860s, with others following. The Michigan wine industry gained momentum into the early 20th century, winning medals at state fairs and attracting consultants. For a decade and change, the Michigan wine industry was silenced due to Prohibition. But shortly after the Repeal in the 1930s, the state was one of the first to whole-heartily attempt to regroup, with several wineries throwing themselves right back into production. In 1985, the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry council was established to promote and advance state wines.
 
The Great Lakes provide much-needed climate moderators to circulate air to cool hot summer temperatures and ease winter’s chill. The inland areas get much too cool to grow good quality grapes, so the four AVA’s, Fennville, Lake Michigan Shore, Leelanau Peninsula, and Old Mission Peninsula are all located along shorefronts. 
 
The grapes grow in Michigan are a mixture of European and North American varietals and hybrids. For whites: Riesling, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Chardonel, Traminette, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, and Vignoles. For reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Chambourcin, Chancellor, and Marechal Foch.
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

is the fourth largest grape-growing state in America, with over 13,500 acres of vineyards. Much of Michigan’s acreage is planted to varieties like Concord and Niagara, destined for juice production. Wine grapes represent 11% of total vineyard area, but this percentage is growing fast. Close to 40 wineries operate, producing 200,000 cases of wine annually. Just 3% of Michigan’s wine production is from labrusca varieties. The majority is from viniferas like Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir, with the rest coming from French hybrids such as Vidal, Vignoles and Chambourcin. Wine growing is split almost equally between two areas, each with 2 appellations: southwestern Michigan (Fennville and Lake Michigan Shore AVAs) and northwest Michigan (Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas AVAs). Each of these northern growing areas depends on the moderating ‘Lake Effect’ from Lake Michigan and most vineyards are within 25 miles of its shore. The Lake’s buffering effect on climate helps protect vines from damaging frosts in both spring and fall. It also prolongs the frost-free period up to a month longer than more inland locations of the state. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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