May 10, 2019
More than 3,000 acres of Michigan winegrapes bring industry growth

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared May to be “Michigan Wine Month” to honor the state’s wide selection of quality wines and the wine industry’s significant contribution to the economy.

The number of wineries in the state continues to grow, with more than 400 small winemaker licenses in the state – and more than 140 of those using a majority of Michigan-grown fruit in their production. The state has more than 3,050 acres devoted to winegrape vineyards, and Riesling is the number one planted grape variety.

“Michigan’s wine production continues to grow from the Leelanau Peninsula to the Silver Lake shoreline and has become a major contributor to increasing our economy and tourism across the state,” said Whitmer. “I hope that Michiganders enjoy the month of May and start their Pure Michigan summers by exploring this thriving industry.”

Results of a recent economic impact study determined Michigan’s wine industry to have a $5.4 billion economic impact, including $253 million in tourism spending in Michigan. The study also determined that 94% of wineries surveyed welcome tourists to their business, resulting in 1.7 million visits annually.

“During Michigan Wine Month we celebrate what makes our industry unique,” said Gary McDowell, MDARD Director and Chair of the Michigan Craft Beverage Council. “The Great Lakes contribute significantly to our climate, allowing for cultivation of both old-world style wine grapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as hybrid grapes, such as Marquette. And the quality of fruit wines produced in Michigan has led to a notable increase in its popularity.”

Michigan Wine Month is preceded by the release of the 2019 Michigan Wine Country magazine, an indispensable touring guide. View Michigan Wine Country digitally at or pick up a free copy at any Michigan winery or Travel Michigan Welcome Center.

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August 2019 Fruit Growers News cover
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