March 29, 2017

What Happened to the Original Midwest Wineries?

During October of 1974,  the Saturday Evening Post published a "Guide to American Wineries."  This article was probably the first discussion of bonded Midwestern Wineries to appear in a national publication.At the time of the Saturday Evening Post's article, there were 32 wineries in the Midwest.  Ohio's 12 wineries were by far the most numerous of any Midwestern state during 1974. (Today, … [Read more...]

Lemberger- A Cold Hardy Vinifera

Hidden among the twenty one varieties and forty acres of vines at Domaine Berrien Cellars and Winery in southwest Michigan is a two acre patch of hardy Austrian grapes known as Lemberger. Owner and winemaker Wally Maurer first encountered this grape in Germany while touring Europe with his father-in-law in the early 1990’s. He says it was his love of wine and the similarity of growing conditions … [Read more...]

2015 Jefferson Cup Award Winners

The Sixteenth Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition was held on November 19th, 2015.  This Competition focuses on wines that are thought to be the best examples of their region, style and variety.  Doug Frost, MS, MW, who lives in Kansas City, coordinates the Jefferson Cup.The top award winners from the Midwest were:St. Julian Winery Sweet Nancie (Sparkling Traminette) nv Lake … [Read more...]

Michigan Winter Damage Report ’16

Growing Produce went to the recent Great Lakes Expo in Grand Rapids.  According to the Growing Produce report, the recent harsh winters hurt even some of the hybrid wine grapes. However, for the Great Lakes to freeze over this winter would require an abrupt shift in the weather, even by Midwestern standards.See: Great Lakes Expo Focus on Past Two Brutal Winters  … [Read more...]

La Crescent Food Pairing Ideas

Food and Wine. Wine and Food. No wonder it can be challenging when we can’t even decide which one comes first. My wife and I have done literally dozens of wine pairing sessions in different formats around the world. Large and small, at wineries and restaurants (both brick and mortar and pop-ups.) Many were fantastic experiences, but as with any art, questions remain.The main thing I reminded … [Read more...]

2016 Midwest Wine Conference Schedule

Here are the Midwest Wine Conferences in chronological order.  Some Conferences have not released agendas or speakers yet, so please check back periodically.  This article will be updated as more information becomes available.Heartland Wine Conference, Sponsored by The Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Association, January 22-23, 2016, The Sheraton Four Points in Manhattan, KS.The … [Read more...]

Nature Batters Northern Michigan Wine Grapes

During May of 2013, Midwest Wine Press ran a story titled The Wine World Discovers Northern Michigan.   This story was one of the first to document the flurry of serious investment in the Traverse City area wine industry.  During 2013, it seemed Northern Michigan was on the cusp of reaching a level of prominence that no Midwestern grape growing region has reached since Prohibition.But as Erwin … [Read more...]

MI Wine Grape Harvest Down 50%

Recently, we have been discussing the increasing role that cold hardy grapes will have in the Midwest Wine Industry.  The story below from the Detroit Free Press is evidence that this transition is already occurring.Joe Herman of Karma Vista Winery, who is quoted in the article, is an excellent grape grower and wine maker, regardless of where he's from.  Joe is already growing Marquette, Foch … [Read more...]

Grapes of the Hudson Valley Has Midwest Appeal

Grapes of the Hudson Valley by Stephen Casscles is a new reference guide that Midwestern grape growers and wine enthusiasts will find compelling.  The Hudson Valley runs north and south down the eastern edge of New York.  This scenic region has a climate similar to much of the Midwest. (USDA grow zone 5 with winter temps as low as -15F.)Within 250 pages, this reference book covers more than … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]