October 20, 2017

Midwest Wine Press Fourth Anniversary

This column commemorates the fourth anniversary of Midwest Wine Press.  During that time, we’ve produced over 500 original articles about our regional wine industry, by far the most of any publication.

In retrospect, I would have not chosen the name Midwest Wine Press.  As Minnesota entrepreneur Eric Dalton told the Wall Street Journal, “The (name) Midwest tends to be what’s left over after all the other regions have been identified.” (Dalton is having great success with a Minnesota line of clothing called “North.”)

Instead of Midwest Wine Press, a better name would be Cold Hardy Grapes and Wine.  Millions of words are written about old world grapes every year, but cold tolerant hybrid wines seldom get any attention. Expect to see more coverage of hybrid grapes in Midwest Wine Press.

Based on my experience and observations, the Midwest is mainly moving away from trying to grow old world grapes.  Since Midwest Wine Press started, there has been one weather related disaster after another for much of our regional wine industry.  The debate about whether our more volatile climate is a man-made phenomena seems pretty clear to me.

One thing I would really like to see is the myriad of Midwestern wine organizations work together to promote cold hardy grapes. Creating demand for hybrid wines would be an incentive for growers to plant more vines.  More vines would bring economies of scale and better margins for wineries and growers.

I would like to thank three people who have been key to the survival of Midwest Wine Press.  The first is my wife, Susan, who permitted some of our money to be used for this venture.  It’s uncertain when we’ll get our investment back, but that’s true for a lot of wineries and grape growers too.

Writer and editor Danny Wood has donated a considerable amount of his talent and time to keep Midwest Wine Press going. He is a true champion of Midwest wine. I hope you enjoy reading Danny’s articles as much as I do.

Finally, our web designer and web master Scott Winterroth rescued Midwest Wine Press early on and has been keeping us running almost since inception.  If you need web design,  please contact Scott at Front & Social.com. 

I am most proud of how Midwest Wine Press has successfully spread the word about Midwestern wine and grape growing.  Since inception, over 200,000 “unique” readers have visited Midwest Wine Press, including over 23,000 people from New York and California. These readers have “clicked away” thousands of times to the winery, wine trail and university websites that are linked in our articles.

In the not too distant future, we’re going to have to raise operating funds by seeking donations.  (Our advertisers have been great and we could use more.)  When the time comes, please consider making a donation. Publishing is a tough business too.

Thank you for reading Midwest Wine Press. We’re proud to able to tell a small part of the story of one of America’s great emerging wine regions.










About Mark Ganchiff

Mark Ganchiff is the publisher of Midwest Wine Press, the leading source of news on the growing wine industry in the central United States. Mark has been a wine judge at the 2012 and 2014 INDY International Wine Competition, the 2014 Cold Climate Wine Competition, the 2013 Mid-American Wine Competition, the 2012 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition and the 2013 Michigan Wine Competition. He also enjoys speaking at wine events including the Cold Climate Wine Conference, the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association Annual Meeting, the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference and the Wisconsin Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Mark’s articles about regional wine have appeared in Vineyard & Winery Management, WineMaker and several regional magazines.
Mark is a Level One Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers. He lives in Louisville, but also has a residence in Chicago.