Estate Wines Threatened by Michigan Winters
Traverse CBS affiliate WWTV recently reported the news that’s becoming increasingly apparent: After two brutal winters, Northern Michigan vineyards are in the same shape as many midwestern roads, full of gaps and holes where vines should be growing. The damage -22F temperatures during did to exposed buds and canes during February is now becoming more apparent.
But the picture is not all bleak. Michigan has a long and successful history growing all kinds of crops, including grapes. Most people don’t know that Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation, growing more kinds of fruits and vegetables than any state but California. (Plus California’s water problems now appear more serious than Michigan’s cold problem.)
On April 10th, Michigan State University, the Harvard of Ag schools, will host the Northwest Michigan Winegrape Spring Kick-off meeting at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center near Traverse City, Michigan.
According to MSU, the program includes a number of interesting topics, given that area vineyards have suffered a good deal of winter injury once again. The comparative tasting on super-cold-hardy wines should be of great interest to growers and vintners. Wines made from Marquette, Frontenac, Frontenac gris, La Crescent and other varieties will be included in the tasting.
Speakers include Brian Hosmer of Parallel 44 Winery on the Leelanau Peninsula who planted cold hardy varietals several years ago.