2017 Michigan Grape & Wine Conference : Michigan Wines
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2018 Michigan Grape & Wine Conference

February 27-March 2, 2018

Radisson Plaza Hotel, Kalamazoo

2017 Michigan Grape & Wine Conference
February 21-24, 2017
Grand Traverse Resort, Acme
Record attendance participated in the 2017 Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Conference, featuring educational sessions on grape and wine production, business management, sales and marketing.

View the 2017 Conference agenda.

2017 Preconference Presentations

Welcome - Wenk
Business Planning - Ross
Economic Development - Anastor
Getting Wines to Customers - Bush
Licensing - Perkins
Local Zoning - Galla
Targeting the Customer - McCole
Winery Panel - Roush

2017 Conference Presentations

Record Keeping Best Practices - Kantrovich (PDF)
Social Media Marketing for the Wine Industry - Serino (PDF)
Climate Change and Riesling - Schultz (PDF)
Climate Change and Riesling - Andresen (PDF)
Marketing to your Target Audience - Wheeler (PDF)
Michigan Wine Collaborative - Lesperance (PDF)
Wine Quality Imperfections from Sensory to Management - Blume (PDF)
Wine Communications - Wangbickler (PDF)
Proper Use of Oak in Winemaking - Jones (PDF)
Farm Labor and Workforce Options - Kantrovich (PDF)

2017 Sponsors and Exhibitors
View the list of 2017 Sponsors and Exhibitors

2017 Key Speakers

Dr. Hans Reiner Schultz
Director, Geisenheim Research Center; President, Geisenheim University
Dr. Schultz has been President of Hochschule Geisenheim University since January 2013. Prior to that, from 2009-2013, he served as Director of Geisenheim Research Institute, and was head of the Viticulture Department from 1995 to 2009.

Ron Edwards, M.S.
Master Sommelier; CEO, Bottle Rocket
Master Sommelier Ron Edwards is a surfer, father of five girls, media entrepreneur, foodie personality and one of America s most entertaining and trusted wine and culinary ambassadors.

He is the Weather Channel Wine Guy and has appeared on the Cooking Channel and a myriad of premiere food and wine publications. He is regularly paired with America s top chefs, authors, media personalities and James Beard award winners. Ron is also the founder of Wine Talk Media, host of Wine Talk Radio and create of the Grapevine School of Wine.

Master Edwards is a passionate proponent and teacher of others-centered service. As a premiere educator and authority in professional management of world-class dining experiences, he advises and trains some of America s most respected restaurants and hospitality franchises.

Jill Blume
Enology Specialist, Purdue University
As the enology specialist for the Purdue Wine Grape Team, Jill Blume defines the word versatile, she spends much of her time coordinating the highly successful Indy International Wine Competition, an annual event that draws 2,000 global wine entries to Purdue s campus each year. In the meantime, she organizes student teaching assistants and orders wine and food for Purdue s popular wine appreciation class. Jill also assists in making experimental wines from Purdue grapes, coordinates extension workshops, teaches day-to-day winemaking procedures and analysis to undergraduate students, performs laboratory and sensory analysis for Indiana s 90 wineries, and serves as a wine judge for major competitions in California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Adam Kantrovich
Farm Business Management Educator, Michigan State University Extension
Dr. Adam Kantrovich has a B.S. and M.S. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. He is the point of contact for Southwest Michigan in areas of Farm Financial Management with statewide responsibilities in the areas of Farm Succession and Business Transition, Agricultural Tax Management, some labor issues and has become a national expert in the area of the Affordable Care Act for agricultural employers.

Brandy Wheeler
Creative Director, Visitors Media
Brandy is a designer by trade, teacher by nature and comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. She brings 20+ years of experience in the creative industry to the Visitors Media team. When she s not behind the computer, or on-camera for ExploreTC, you ll find her on Twitter and Instagram sharing her love of Northern Michigan and advocating for autism, a cause close to her heart.

Rick Jones
Consulting Winemaker
Rick has been a winemaking pioneer and entrepreneur for 35 years. A graduate of UC Davis, and a Flint native, he has founded businesses such as Vinovation, Oenodev, Boise France, Della Toffola USA and others. His specialty is in bringing new innovations to the wine industry, such as reverse osmosis for VA and alcohol adjustment, sensory standards for oak and tannin, and micro-oxygenation. His most recent project is the introduction of ThermoFlash to North America, a technology which has enormous potential for enhancing red wine quality in Michigan and the Midwest generally. He is keen to talk to any winemakers who have an interest in this technique. Returning to Michigan winemaking has been a long term ambition.

Dave Serino
Founder and Strategist, SixOne Digital
Dave is a 26-year veteran of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. In July 2009, he developed one of the first tourism-focused social media measurement and ranking systems, a comprehensive assessment of the 50 state tourism offices, and benchmarked each organization s efforts on several social media platforms.

In 2016, Dave worked with Pure Michigan to conduct regional seminars around the state. These Pure Michigan Education Workshops covered topics including digital marketing, online advertising, user review sites (Yelp, TripAdvisor), and major social media channels. He has presented educational sessions at more than 150 travel industry conferences across the U.S. Dave serves on the board of the West Michigan Tourist Association and is a member of the Promotions, Marketing and Communications Committee for the Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan.

Annemiek Schilder
Associate Professor, Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University
Dr. Schilder received her B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Louisiana, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Cornell University. Her areas of expertise include diseases of small fruit crops, mycology, and integrated disease management. The main goal of her program is to develop environmentally and economically sustainable methods of disease control in small fruit crops.

Dr. Schilder s extension activities have focused on training growers to recognize and monitor diseases in their fields as well as to increase their understanding of pathogen biology. She has written multiple extension publications, including a Pocket IPM Scouting Guide for grapes, and teaches IPM Scout training programs. She conducts field visits, and provides diagnostic services and up-to-date control recommendations for growers.

Michael Wangbickler
CEO, Balzac Communications
Mike is a Balzac veteran with more than 20 years of experience building and executing communications strategies for clients in the wine and technology industries. A Michigan native, he travelled west to work in the dot-com boom and became knowledgeable about wine. After leaving Silicon Valley, Mike decided to make wine his career, and ended up at Balzac. Mike is Balzac s digital strategies expert, in addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, including client management.

Mike is a Certified Wine Educator through the Society of Wine Educators, and a WSET Certified Educator through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. He is also lead instructor at Discover Wine & Spirits Academy.

Conference Planning Committee:

Brad Baughman, Michigan State University
Dean Bender, Lawton Ridge Winery
Joanne Davidhizar, Michigan State University
Lorri Hathaway, Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail
Brian Lillie, Chateau Chantal
Nancie Oxley, St. Julian Winery
Tom Petzold, Old Mission Peninsula wine grape grower
Dr. Paolo Sabbatini, Michigan State University
Robin Usborne, East of Eden Vineyards

Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council Staff:
Karel Bush, Sherri Goodreau, Jenelle Jagmin

Event Planning Service Provider:
Meeting Coordinators, Inc.

Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council would like to thank our generous sponsors

Traveling Dinner Sponsor

Saxco Brick Packaging

Welcome Reception Sponsor

Lake Michigan College

Vintage Sponsors


GreenStone Farm Credit Services logo

Graphic Solid Inks

Blue Label logo

2017 Michigan Grape & Wine Conference Exhibitors

Allen & Sons Woodworking LLC
Artex Label & Graphics
Ashgrove Marketing Agency
Bay Supply Marketing
Blue Label Digital Printing
Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC
Crivellar Company
Custom Conveyor Concepts, Inc.
Double A Vineyards
Graphic Solid Inks, Inc. (GSI)
Great Lakes Label
Greenstone Farm Credit Services
Harvest Energy Solutions
Hastings Mutual Insurance Company
Hermann J Weimer Vineyard
Lake Michigan College
Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP)
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)
MDARD International Marketing
Michigan Liquor Control Commission
Michigan State University IAT-VESTA
Northeastern Vine Supply Inc
Ozone Solutions Inc
Pine River Group
Prestige Glassware
Prospero Equipment Corp
Pure Water Works Inc
PVS Chemicals
Saxco/Brick Holdings, LLC
Scott Laboratories
Sludge Hammer Group, Ltd
Spring Brook Supply (BDI)
Superior Wind Machine Service
United States Department of Agriculture - National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS)
USDA Rural Development
Vinosity DBA Cool Climate Analytical
Waterloo Container Company
West Michigan Tourist Association
West Michigan Power Cleaning Equipment