September 19, 2017

Midwest Wine Programs in Transition

Michael Moyer didn’t hesitate to leave Walla Walla, Wash., for greener pastures this spring. After all, the job offer was huge. Could he launch the Midwest’s first – and only – commercial teaching winery in the upper Midwest?Beginning this fall, students – with a cap at around 25 – at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Mich., can earn a certificate or associates degree in enology or … [Read more...]

“Minnescato” – Moscato Wine From Minnesota

I’ve watched the American love affair with Moscato wines for the past four years. I’ve seen sales rise dramatically; in some years the increases have been as high as 100%, particularly for Italian produced Moscatos.It reminds me of the rise of  White Zinfandel in the 80's.  Like white zin, young drinkers are powering Moscato’s rise. I’ve experienced this at our tasting bar, with Moscato … [Read more...]

2015 Previews for Midwest Wine Conferences

It's that time of year again, and we're not talking about the Holidays.  Yes, Midwest wine fans, it's time to check your snow tires and find your white rabbit ushanka, cause it's Midwest Wine Conference season.This year, it would be technically possible to attend all the Midwestern wine conferences, although the Michigan and Nebraska events overlap.  Some wine conferences, like the Michigan … [Read more...]

Regional Wine Tasting Rooms Gain Foothold Across America

Northern Michigan Black Star Farms’ tasting room manager, Chris Lopez had his hopes pinned on an Ann Arbor tasting room, 240 miles from the winery's main tasting room. This college town has a proven appetite for good wine and innovative food. Top Chef contestants Eve Aronoff (Frita Batido) and Takashi Yagihashi (Slurping Turtle) have both put down roots in Ann Arbor, after all. Bustling downtown … [Read more...]

Dog Friendly Wineries

Growing numbers of Midwest wineries are going where very few bars and restaurants in the United States have gone before – encouraging customers to bring their dogs. The move is attracting visits from both dog owning, day-tripping tourists and local dog owners with their Patch or Lassie.Internet guides for dog owners testify to numerous canine friendly wineries. lists dozens … [Read more...]

Tony Ciccone “Winemaking is in My DNA”

Tony Ciccone (Chick own ee), makes wines as easy to enjoy as his name is melodious. As patriarch of the Ciccone clan, Tony directs his wife and two of his children in the production of their award-winning wines.Ciccone Vineyard and Winery, sitting atop one of the Leelanau Peninsula's prettiest hills, is a family affair. Tony's wife, Joan Ciccone is the landscape architect and chief cook at the … [Read more...]

The Colors of Michigan Artist Stephanie Schlatter

In both wine and art, the first thing a viewer notices is color.  One of the most colorful artists in the Midwest, Stephanie Schlatter of Grand Rapids, is working with more Michigan wineries and tasting rooms these days.  Schlatter has now exhibited her paintings at 10 wineries in Northern Michigan and she is looking to expand south."I love that collectors have a fun approachable way to … [Read more...]

Midwest Winery Rankings 2014

After years of rapid expansion, the growth in the number of Midwest wineries slowed during the past year.Since the second quarter of 2013, the number of Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) winery permits in the 11 state area covered by Midwest Wine Press increased by 1.7% to 1,264.In comparison, the number of TTB winery permits increased by 10% from 2012 to … [Read more...]

Chicago and Wisconsin Restaurants Warming to Midwest Wine

Local wines on a Chicago or Milwaukee restaurant’s wine list used to get the cold shoulder. Despite affordable prices, diners didn’t bite, but some wine directors put Midwest wines on the list anyway, in hopes of turning a few more palates on to local wines.These days, however, a flood of Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin wines bump up against Bordeaux and Napa on seasoned restaurateurs’ … [Read more...]

Edg-Clif Farms: Chambourcin Specialists

Homepage photo: Cyndy Keesee and Steffie Littlefield. Edg-Clif Farms & Vineyard, a 550 plus acre property in Potosi, Missouri, is a winery with a unique focus. In 2008, after soil tests revealed that the rich earth was suited to Chambourcin, the owners decided to play their hand to full advantage by planting  mainly Chambourcin grapes.That move quickly paid off for Cyndy Keesee and … [Read more...]