Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared May to be “Michigan Wine Month” to honor the state’s wide selection of quality wines and the wine industry’s significant contribution to the economy.
The number of wineries in Michigan continues to grow, with more than 400 small winemaker licenses in the state — and more than 140 of those are using mostly Michigan-grown fruit in their production. The state has more than 3,050 acres devoted to winegrape vineyards, and Riesling is the No. 1-planted grape variety.
“Michigan’s wine production continues to grow from the Leelanau Peninsula to the Silver Lake shoreline and has become a major contributor to increasing our economy and tourism across the state,” Whitmer says. “I hope that Michiganders enjoy the month of May and start their Pure Michigan summers by exploring this thriving industry.”
Results of a recent study determined that Michigan’s wine industry has a $5.4 billion economic impact, including $253 million in tourism spending. The study also determined that 94% of wineries surveyed welcome tourists to their business, resulting in 1.7 million visits annually.
“During Michigan Wine Month, we celebrate what makes our industry unique,” says Gary McDowell, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director and chairman of the Michigan Craft Beverage Council. “The Great Lakes contribute significantly to our climate, allowing for cultivation of both old-world style winegrapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as hybrid grapes, such as Marquette. And the quality of fruit wines produced in Michigan has led to a notable increase in its popularity.”
Michigan Wine Month is preceded by the release of the 2019 Michigan Wine Country magazine, a touring guide. View Michigan Wine Country online or pick up a free copy at any Michigan winery or Travel Michigan welcome center.