When “Local” Artisan Spirits Aren’t

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.

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6 Responses

  1. Peter Botham says:

    If this guy thinks this is a problem in the spirits industry he ought to take a look at the wine industry. Last time I went to the liquor store nearly 7 in ten wines were labeled with the old “cellered and bottled by,” or the “vinted and bottled by” monikers. Lots of wineries that really aren’t. Pretenders is the polite way to describe them, I have a more appropriate term but I don’t think you would print it.

    • Mark Ganchiff says:

      All Midwest Wine Press winery profiles are about wineries that grow grapes or make wine themselves. In the Midwest, we don’t have enough locally grown grapes to meet demand so some bulk wine is a necessity. The solution? Plant more wine grapes.

      • Dave Wilson says:

        I disagree, the real problem is “Virtual Wineries”. If the actual wineries would not participate with these “brokers” there would be plenty of grapes in the Midwest to be produce and bottle accredited winery brands.

        It is not a shortage of Midwest grapes, some winemakers prefer to use or blend other regions grapes for their product.

  2. Dave Wilson says:

    How do we go from the focus of the art and science of winemaking in the Midwest, to whiskey from the Atlantic? Appears your mission has an identity crisis.

    • Mark Ganchiff says:

      We have been covering artisan distilling since inception; more wineries are adding spirits. We also cover ciders, but thanks for keeping us on mission. No beer coverage, promise.

      • Dave Wilson says:

        I am not the one that put it print, you did. Since you have covered most alcoholic beverages (and regions) why not include beer and provide a national breakdown. Sounds good to me!