Michigan wine industry has grown and matured


In the 1970s, most Michigan vineyards were making grapes for juices. But in the past 40 years, the industry has made room for a more mature product — wine grapes.

The Michigan wine industry has grown since the 1970s, according to Michigan State University. Photo: RaeAllen (flickr)

The state’s wine industry has grown by 500 percent since 1973, increased in acreage and number of wineries, attracts 800,000 visitors every year and contributes $300 million to the economy, according to Michigan State University.

Michigan’s environment is good for vinifera varieties, like chardonnay and reisling; hybrid varieties, or vinifera grapes crossed with native North American ones; and native varieties like concord and niagara, according to Michigan Wines.

Most wine is grown within 25 miles of Lake Michigan where wind blowing over the lake collects water vapor and deposits more snow on the opposite shore. This lake effect protects vines with extra snow, slows bud development to avoid frost damage and extends the growing season.

One thought on “Michigan wine industry has grown and matured

  1. That’s impressive growth! How about growing hops? With all the breweries poppin’ up, I have to imagine more farmers are growing hops.

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