2015 Michigan Grape & Wine Conference
March 4-6, 2015
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, East Lansing
Join more than 200 members of Michigan's wine industry for this annual conference, featuring educational sessions on grape and wine production, business management, sales and marketing.
Banquet Menu (PDF) NEW!
Wine Arrangements for Welcome Reception (PDF) NEW!
2015 Winery Development Pre-Conference Agenda (PDF)
The Winery Development Pre-Conference is targeted to individuals who are considering starting a winery or recently entered the business, with topics relating to industry trends, wine grape suitability, business planning, marketing, regulatory considerations, available resources and owner experiences.
Make your hotel reservation:
The Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center is sold out. You may call the Kellogg Center at 800-875-5090 to be added to a wait list. The closest alternative hotels are the Marriott Courtyard and Candlewood Suites.
Dr. G. Stanley Howell
Professor emeritus of viticulture and enology, Michigan State University
After arriving at MSU in 1969, Dr. Howell focused on cool-climate viticulture with the goal of assessing which cultivars were compatible with Michigan's climate and evaluating the wines from those cultivars. Since he retired, he has been working with the VESTA (Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance) program to develop viticulture and enology courses.
Chief Viral Officer, Sneeze.it
As the Chief Viral Officer of marketing agency Sneeze It, David Steel educates companies on how to Attract prospects, Build a lead pipeline, and Convert those leads into customers. Steel is a best-selling author and online marketing expert who has given speaking engagements in the United States and abroad on how to create successful -- and lucrative -- digital and social marketing campaigns.
Sought after for his marketing expertise, David Steel helps organizations understand their customers, the online sales process, and increase their customer conversions, which has established him as a trusted social media and marketing resource around the world.
David founded his first company at the age of 20. After successfully growing and selling it to a Fortune 150 firm, David founded The Steel Method. Shortly thereafter he created Sneeze.it, a division of The Steel Method.
Owner and Winemaker, Muwin Estate Wines; Wine Production Consultant, WinePlanet Consulting
With over 20 years experience in the wine industry, Dominic Rivard has been passionately interested in wine since the age of 17 when he started making wine from local fruits and grapes. After becoming a qualified sommelier, he studied advanced winemaking and oenology and undertook and passed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma with distinctions. He is now studying towards the prestigious Master of Wine accreditation. He is a founding director of the Fruit Wines of Canada Association.
Dominic has been engaged in R&D projects in the industry and has perfected numerous dessert wine production techniques including ice fruit wine cryo-extraction. He specializes in cider, fruit wine, dessert wine and ice wine production and is known in wine industry circles as an authority in fruit wine making.
Presently, Dominic is based out of Nova Scotia, Canada and has taken up sustainable and organic fruit growing and continuing to assist many wineries around the world in their wine production on a consultant basis. He operates his own winery and wine trading company and loves to help other wineries develop award winning wines and ciders.
Senior Staff Scientist, Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute
Jim Willwerth is a Senior Staff Scientist in Viticulture at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). His responsibilities are to perform research and outreach services in the field of viticulture with emphasis on grapevine winter hardiness and the priorities of the Canadian grape and wine industry. He has his Doctorate from Brock University where his research focused on elucidation of Riesling terroirs that impact wine varietal character in vineyards throughout the Niagara Peninsula and validation of sub-appellations in terms of Riesling fruit composition and wine sensory profiles. His expertise includes vine physiology, cold hardiness, viticulture practices, soil/irrigation management, and water relations in grapevines.
Partner and CEO, Balzac Communications & Marketing
Michael Wangbickler has more than 15 years of experience teaching about wine and the wine business. He is a partner and CEO at Balzac Communications & Marketing, the industry leading wine public relations and marketing agency. He has worked with a diverse range of wine industry clients; from small, family owned wineries to large wine companies and regions.
Wangbickler has spoken on the topic of wine and wine marketing throughout the country and beyond. In addition to his activities at Balzac, he is President of the Board of Directors for the non-profit advocacy group, Drink Local Wine Inc. In addition, he is Lead Educator for Discover Wine & Spirits Academy in San Francisco and Napa, and an Adjunct Instructor for The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.
Owner, Innovative Media & Design
Kate is passionate about business endeavors -- Kick Ass ones, anyway! She is avid about propelling companies, creating success stories through engaging design and marketing solutions. As the owner of Innovative Media & Design, she is the leader of a strong team of professionals - writers, designers, programmers - that actually like each other, and absolutely love what they do!
Join Cardinali to learn ways to refresh what you are currently doing, and to help drive your business to the next level.
Thank You to our Generous Sponsors...
Dinner and Keynote Speaker Sponsor
... and Exhibitors
Wine & Vine Insurance Services
Conference Planning Committee:
Nancie Corum-Oxley, St. Julian Winery
Joanne Davidhizar, Michigan State University
Diane Drago, Diversified Management Services
Joe Herman, Karma Vista Vineyards
Brian Lillie, Chateau Chantal
Dr. Paolo Sabbatini, Michigan State University
Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council Staff:
Linda Jones, Karel Bush, Sherri Goodreau