Sen. John Proos: Celebrate ‘Wine Month’Published 10:34pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Winemaking is a thriving industry in Michigan. The increased sales of Michigan-made wine have outpaced total wine sales for more than a decade — doubling Michigan wineries’ market share.
To honor Michigan’s wide selection of quality wines and the wine industry’s significant contribution to the economy, Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed April as “Michigan Wine Month.”
I encourage southwest Michigan residents to support our local vineyards by visiting a winery and seeing their impact on our economy.
Information about more than a dozen southwest Michigan wineries and tasting rooms is available online at www.miwinetrail.com. The website includes details about area wineries, information on upcoming events and a map of the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail.
Greg O’Niel, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council member and president of O.K. Distributors in St. Joseph, said, “We continue to see growth of Michigan wine sales — a win for wineries, vineyards and other small businesses statewide.
“As wine races toward the top spot in popularity among American consumers, Michigan-made wines are really kicking into gear.”
Michigan will add 11 new wineries this year and the 92 state wineries will welcome more than 1 million visitors to their tasting rooms.
These Michigan-grown businesses offer a true Pure Michigan experience and outstanding products.
Most importantly, our wine and grape industries contribute nearly $800 million to Michigan’s economy and create more than 5,000 jobs.
Lake Michigan creates a climate in Southwest Michigan that remains temperate throughout the year and shelters grapes from extreme heat and cold — allowing the region to grow many varieties of wine grapes.
April marks the time when many wineries begin to release the new white wines from the 2011 vintage and the 2012 grape growing season begins.
This makes early spring a prime time to taste what southwest Michigan vineyards have to offer.
As you enjoy a glass of Michigan-made wine, have fun and drink responsibly.
Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.
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