For this months’ wine club, we’ve decided to stay right here in Michigan. We are so excited to showcase thoughtfully made wine and beautiful expressions of our very own terroir. The history of winemaking in Michigan is not short, vineyards in Michigan were first planted and cultivated by European Settlers in the 19th century. Like many other places across the US, the momentum of the industry was smothered by prohibition from 1920 to 1933. When Prohibition was repealed slowly the wine industry in Michigan started to revive. Primarily small-scale wineries started making wine with locally grown fruit like cherries and apples, this was more for the local market and did not gain attention nationally. It wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that Michigan wine industry stated focusing on traditional grape-based wines. Since then, Michigan’s wine industry has come a long way and has established itself as a thriving region for cool-climate wines. With a focus on quality, sustainability, and innovation, Michigan winemakers are producing a diverse range of wines that showcase the unique terroir of the region. We have been exploring the Michigan wine industry since we moved here in 2010. Over the last decade we have been so impressed with the strides the industry has made in education and the production of more serious and thoughtful wines. There are many notable leaders in the industry here that led the way. Too many to discuss in our monthly wine club, but we can’t fail to mention, Jim Lester of Wyncroft and Marland Wines, Bryan Ulbrich of Left Foot Charley, Larry Mawby, and the history of the oldest still-running winery in Michigan, St. Julian which was established in 1921 and Tabor Hill Winery, founded in 1968.
We also are compelled to share the stories love and relationships that make these wineries so special. From spouses that decided to plant their roots in Michigan, it’s an honor to be featuring stories and wines from producers with similar mindsets. That’s some Pure Michigan right there.
P. & E. Mullins