October 20, 2017

INDY 2017 Wine Competition As It Happened

Judgement Day had arrived. On 24th May, with fifty wine judges in white lab coats poised to start blind tasting almost 2,000 wines, the 26th annual INDY International Wine Competition opened with remarks from the mercurially entertaining Christian Butzke.The Purdue University Enology professor and the wine championship’s chief judge offered guidance to the judges.  He said it was important … [Read more...]

Installing a Vineyard: Line Post Decisions

Today we started putting in a trellis for our new vineyard at Belvoir Winery in Liberty, Missouri. There was something very satisfying about punching in those T-Posts, seeing that they didn’t fall over and admiring how we managed to keep them in straight rows.At the beginning of today I wasn’t entirely confident it would turn out so well. As a complete novice when it comes to installing … [Read more...]

Hinterland: A Great Winery Worth the Extra Mile

One of the best Midwest wine experiences is finding a gem of a winery in a rural area.  And being a diamond in the boonies the business model for Hinterland Vineyards and Winery in Clara City, Minnesota, about 110 miles west of the Twin Cities.“You’re coming to the Winery on a gravel road and you step into, ‘Wow, are we in California,’” said Hinterland co-owner Aftan Koenen about the … [Read more...]

How Do Midwest Consumers Define Local Wine?

Cheryl Nakata, a professor of marketing at The University of Illinois at Chicago Business School recently released an insightful study about about Midwest wine. From August 2014 through March 2015, Cheryl and Erin Peregrine Antalis, also of the University of Illinois at Chicago, interviewed owners and managers of fourteen wineries in Michigan and Indiana. The purpose of the study was to understand … [Read more...]

America’s Wine Heartland: Hermann, Missouri

Originally published in WineTouristMagazine.comFew places in America combine wine and history like Hermann, Missouri. Relatively few wine drinkers know that Missouri has a thriving wine industry of about 130 wineries and during the 19th century was one of the leading producers of wine in the country. Hermann, an unassuming but charming town of 2,500 residents on the Missouri River, has always … [Read more...]

Aronia Berries for New Fruit Wine Flavors

Aronia berries, a longtime favorite of wine and liqueur hobbyists, are now available in volume for wine production. Originally a fruit native to the eastern half of the United States, they’re commercially grown from New England westward into the Dakotas. The wine potential of aronia berries is being tapped by wineries clustered mostly in the Midwest. Educators in universities in a number of states … [Read more...]

Young Couple Triumphs at Starview Vineyards

Attracting millennials is a goal for most wineries.  At Starview Vineyards on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, appealing to younger customers comes naturally. Winery co-owners Brett Morrison, 30, and Regina Morrison 29, are not only members of the most over analyzed generation, they also project a youthful enthusiasm that fills the tasting room."We love the industry, it's our lives," Regina says … [Read more...]

Chemical Free, Ageworthy Wines in the Midwest

In the Batman movie, The Dark Knight, the Joker (played by the late Heath Ledger) notes the scared reaction to his crazy acts of violence and says, "Why so serious?" In The Dark Grape, he might have said, "Why so toxic?" as he observed the large amount of chemicals used on vineyards around the world.When it comes to using chemicals on vines, pre-emptive strikes - much like US foreign policy - … [Read more...]

Missouri Winery Tour: Westphalia, Chaumette and Augusta Wineries

Last week, my wife and I took urgent action. With baby number two's due date closing fast and the frightening prospect of never having time to do anything ever again, we filled the car with gas and dragged our toddler from one end of Missouri to the other to visit a few wineries.We started at Westphalia Vineyards, near the small town of the same name, just outside the state capitol, … [Read more...]

Creative Ways to Use Your Logo

In a recent Northern Grapes Project survey, wine and winery branding was listed as the 1# concern by winery owners.  Communicating to customers what makes a winery distinctive is becoming increasingly difficult as the number of wineries in the U.S. surpasses 8,300.According to Jen Peterson Donaghy, owner of  The Wyne Girl (www.thewynegirl.com), an Ohio based company that creates … [Read more...]