March 29, 2017

MWP and Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest 2016

In a couple of months’ time, wine industry people from across the Midwest will gather in St. Charles, Missouri for one of the biggest wine conferences in our region. One difference this year is a name change: what was formerly called the Midwest Wine Conference is now Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest. This time, winemakers, distillers and brewers are under one roof, but attending three separate … [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...]

Climate Change Could Benefit Northern Wines

Research by Paul Huttner, chief meteorologist for Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), suggests Midwest wine growers may benefit from climate change. Huttner said his work looking at how climate change is impacting viticulture in northern regions of the USA reveals that warming is very likely a good thing, in the long run, for colder climate wines. However, he warns, extreme temperature swings in fall, … [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...]

US Versus Europe Taste Off at VitiNord ’15

The 2015 VitiNord International Viticulture & Enology Conference is taking place from 11-14 November in Nebraska City. This year, the leading event focusing on the latest advances in cold hardy grape growing and winemaking around the world, will include a unique ‘taste off’ between cold hardy hybrids and European hybrids.Organizer and grape breeder, Tom Plocher, says attendees will be able … [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...]

2015 Midwest Winery Rankings

The Midwest wine industry continues to grow. The number of wineries in the 11 state area Midwest Wine Press covers rebounded strongly during 2014 after barely growing at all during 2013. During 2014, the number of Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) winery permits in the Midwest increased by 7% to 1,264.Midwest Wine Press has been tracking winery permits since 2012. During … [Read more...]

Miletta Vista Three Years After the Fire

The Miletta Vista fire of 2012 occurred June 23rd. A normal harvest would have begun around August 10th, however, because of the hot, dry conditions in Nebraska vineyards, harvest that year began mid July, a month early.Immediately after the tragedy, Mick and Loretta McDowell said they tried to think about harvest, “but in reality we were still in shock and were concentrating on picking up … [Read more...]

The First “Bottle Shock” Was in the Midwest

Many of us are familiar with the prestigious wine judging that took place in Paris in 1976 in honor of the American Bi-Centennial. The event was commemorated, or should we say celebrated by the Americans at least, in the movie “Bottle Shock.”Designed to be a competition between several well-regarded American wines vs. a selection of some of France’s most famed wines it took on … [Read more...]

Cold “Wreaking Havoc” on Regional Wine Industry

The O'Keefes of Northern Michigan -Edward and son Eddie- have been farming grapes on the Old Mission Peninsula since 1974.  So when the O'Keefes express concern about the cold damage of the past two years at their Chateau Grand Traverse Winery (see below), it's not Weather Channel style meteorological hype.At daybreak Friday morning, the temperature in Traverse City was -17F.  A few degrees … [Read more...]