Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Wine shortage? Not in Michigan!

by Zinta Aistars
Published in Northwest Michigan's Second Wave
December 3, 2013


Second Wave writer Zinta Aistars did some research of her own to counterbalance a report that came out this fall predicting a global lack of wine. Turns out, it's actually been a very good year for Michigan wine producers.

A cry of panic went up among wine lovers in late October, when Morgan Stanley Research announced impending doom: a wine shortage.
"There's just not enough wine in the world," the report said, "and the problem is only going to get worse." The researchers cited a global shortage as wine production fell five percent within the last year.
Time to hoard your favorite wines?
"I saw the report when it came out," says Chris Baldyga, one of the lads of 2 Lads Winery in Traverse City. "Shortage? They didn't include reds in their count at the end of 2012. In truth, 2012 was perhaps the greatest vintage year we've had in northern Michigan, and 2013 was one of the biggest harvests ever. We were at capacity. They didn't use that data."
While the blistering summer of 2012 was hard on all types of fruit in Michigan and elsewhere, 2013 more than made up for it, Baldyga says. Farmers had such an excess of fruit that it was going to waste, he says.
"It's exciting to see such a huge market for wines in Michigan. We just need more entrants. People look to Michigan for cars, the automobile industry, but we are becoming an important market in wines."
According to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Michigan Field Office, Michigan has about 15,000 acres of vineyards, making Michigan the fourth largest grape-growing state. Vineyard acreage has doubled over the past ten years.
The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council reports there are 101 commercial wineries producing more than 1.3 million gallons of Michigan wine annually. That number has increased from 32 wineries in 2002, which produced 400,000 gallons.
Shannon Casey of Michigan By the Bottle gives little credence to the rumors of an impending shortage, but doesn't mind the rumor: "I think the buzz around this alleged wine shortage will help put Michigan wines front and center in people's minds. Everyone around the world drinks local, so it is time Michiganders do the same. With more than 100 wineries in the state, there are so many great Michigan wines."
Andy Green, owner of Threefold Vine Winery along with wife Janice Green, is currently moving their vineyards from the Upper Peninsula town of Garden to ...

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