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

February 28 - March 2, 2018

Radisson Plaza Hotel, Kalamazoo

View 2018 Agenda (PDF)

View 2018 Sponsor/exhibitor packet (PDF)

View the list of 2018 Conference exhibitors.

2018 Presentations

Flash Detente and Michigan Wines
Lab Analysis for Beginner to Intermediate
Economic Development at MDARD
Michigan Wine Collaborative Annual Meeting
Research - Biology and Mealybugs
Research - Michigan Vineyards IPM
Rethinking the Wine Consumer
Winery Panel Discussion
What Story Does Your Label Tell?
Economic Impact of the Michigan Wine Industry
Vinegar, Nailpolish and Fruit Flies: Keep Sour Rot at Bay

2018 Speakers

John Dunham
President, John Dunham & Associates

Economic Impact Study " What It Means For You

John specializes in the economics of how public policy issues affect products and services. He has conducted hundreds of studies on taxes and regulation. Dunham is regularly consulted by Reuters and other media covering business and economics, and his work has been reported in national broadcast and print news outlets. His research has been published in a number of refereed journals including Economic Inquiry.

Prior to starting his own firm, John was the senior U.S. economist with Philip Morris, producing research and information on key issues facing all of the company s divisions. Before this, John was a senior economist for the New York City Mayor s Office, the New York City Comptroller s Office, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey where he conducted the economic impact analysis of the World Trade Center.

John received his M.A. in economics from the New School for Social Research and his MBA from Columbia University. He is a member of the American Economics Association and the National Association of Business Economists.

Jim Granzotto
Owner, Great Legs Winery, Brewery, Distillery

What's it like to Start and Own a Winery?

Jim is a thirty year resident of Holland Michigan and owns Great Legs Winery, Brewery and Distillery with his wife, Joanne Hayek Granzotto.Great Legs Winery Brewery Distillery LLC was established August 23, 2012 and celebrated its grand opening in on May 5, 2017.

The business hosts monthly West Michigan art exhibitions along with Wine and Painting events as well as other craft art events in our tasting room. The winery also features musical entertainment from talented West Michigan Musicians.

Dr. Barry Gump
Professor of Beverage Management, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Florida International University

Lab Analyses for Beginning to Intermediate Level Winemaking Operations

Dr. Barry H. Gump is the first holder of the Harvey R. Chaplin Eminent Schola's Chair in Beverage Management at Florida International University s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. In addition to his activities at FIU, he currently serves as a co-Principal Investigator and Enology Curriculum Coordinator for the VESTA program- a NSF National Center of Excellence operated through Missouri State University. He is also Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Enology at California State University, Fresno.

Dr. Gump has had a long association with the wine industry, conducting research in analytical methodology applied to grapes, juices, and wines. He has also been a professional wine judge for many years at a number of major wine competitions, including Sonoma County Harvest Fair Wine Competition, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, The Ohio State Wine Competition, Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, International Eastern Wine Competition, Florida State Fair Wine Competition, American Fine Wine Competition, Iowa State Fair Wine Competition, and the California State Fair Wine Competition.

Tim Hanni, MW
Vice President, Institute of Masters of Wine North America

Rethinking the Wine Consumer

Tim Hanni is an innovator, researcher, renegade and a relentless crusader against wine snobbery. He is currently the Vice-president of the Institute of Masters of Wine North America, teaches The Business of Wine online courses with the Napa Valley Wine Academy and at Washington State University, and consults for wineries and wine-related companies around the world.

One of the first two Americans to earn the title of Master of Wine, Tim is also a professionally trained chef, and international consultant to the wine industry. He is the author of Why You Like the Wines You Like; Changing the way the world thinks about wine and The Sweet Wine Lover s Manifesto; ending the tyranny of the dry wine fashionistas. A former guru of wine and food pairing Hanni now promotes his principles of Flavor Balancing and a movement to pairing wines to the diner, not the dinner.

Hanni continues to research on understanding the physiology and neuroscience that determine consumer beverage preferences and buying behavior, engineered in cooperation with noted Cornell University researcher Virginia Utermohlen, MD. Based on this research he has formed eCode.me LLC and the wine consumer profiling technology myVinotype.com with a new wine app now available through iTunes.

Cristin Hosmer
Alchemae Craft Beverage Consulting

Mi-CAST Module 1: Customer Service Training

Cristin Popelier Hosmer has provided consulting services to many Northern Michigan producers for everything from Tasting Room Training to Start-Up, Operations and Winemaking services. She got her start at at Bel Lago Vineyards and Winery, where she served as the Operations Manager and Assistant Winemaker overseeing day to day operations of the Tasting Room, Cellar and Custom Crush clients.

Her husband Brian is the winemaker at Chateau Chantal and Hawthorne Vineyards, and together they own a farm on Old Mission where they grow a diverse variety of grapes and flowers.

Cristin is the Managing Partner of the 1855 Project, as well as an instructor with VESTA, teaching Wine Business Entrepreneurship and Sensory Evaluation. She also serves on many boards and committees furthering the Michigan Wine Industry, including the Michigan Wine Collaborative.

Meridith Lauzon
Operations Manager, Left Foot Charley

Mi-CAST Module 2: TAM (Techniques in Alcohol Management)

Grand Rapids native Meridith Lauzon found her way to Traverse City not long after graduating from Ferris State University with an Associates Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management with a minor in Special Events and Meeting Planning. As Operations Manager for Left Foot Charley, Meridith is responsible for creating systems to ensure a clean, happy, productive, and professional environment for wine tasting. In 2015, she played an essential part in a committee that received a Governor's Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration for Education and Training.

Lee Lutes
Head Winemaker, Black Star Farms

Flash Detente - Observations and Expectations

Lutes overseas winemaking operations for the two processing facilities on the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas for Black Star Farms. The separation of production between the "home" farm on Leelanau Peninsula and Old Mission Peninsula makes Black Star Farms very unique in the industry - and Lee believes is significantly responsible for the standard of quality that is their benchmark. Lee also directs the distillation program that produces European style fruit brandies and dessert wines, further enhancing their level of distinctiveness in the market.

Lee is a proud self-taught winemaker, which he eventually came to following a business degree at MSU, years of experience in the restaurant industry, and extensive international travel. He served as assistant winemaker at a small Piedmont winery prior to moving back to Michigan, where he was born and raised, and returned home at a time fortuitous with the growth and expansion of the industry. He is an avid supporter of all things Michigan, and proudly pursues the best in Pinot Noir and Riesling.

Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith
Brock University, Ontario
Vinegar, Nail Polish and Fruit Flies: Keeping Sour Rot at Bay

Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith has been the Tender Fruit and Grape IPM Specialist with OMAFRA, Vineland since 2008. She is adjunct professor and sessional lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences and a CCOVI Professional Affiliate at Brock University and, until recently, was a sessional lecturer in the Oenology and Viticulture Technician Program at Niagara College. She has worked on projects including etiology and management of sour rot of grape, modeling grape berry moth populations, biology and management of black knot and bacterial spot of stone fruit, fungicide resistance in brown rot of cherry and apple scab, integrated management of fire blight and grapevine leafroll and red blotch viruses and their vectors.

Dr. David P. Miller, PhD
President, Michigan Wine Collaborative

Michigan Wine Collaborative Annual Meeting

Dave Miller's career spans 30+ years in the Michigan wine industry during which time he has served in various roles from grapevine researcher at Michigan State University, to Vineyard liaison and Vice President of Wine making at one of the state's largest wineries to owning his own winery.

Dr Dave found his passion for wine while studying Biology / Plant Ecology for his BS at Ball State University. He graduated from MSU with a MS in Plant Physiology and accepted a position as Research Technician with Dr Stan Howell, where he worked on variety testing, canopy management, crop load and whole vine photosynthesis. He earned his PhD studying vine capacity and began working with growers to balance crops in wine grape vineyards while working as the Wine Maker at St Julian Winery.

Dave started White Pine Winery in 2010 to focus on producing fine wines from a handful of varieties that produced consistently excellent wines from southwest Michigan. Dave works with fellow winemakers and growers to continue raising the bar for quality while implementing the latest science for sustainable production in the vineyard and winery. He is involved in statewide organizations whose goal is to grow and improve the wine industry in Michigan and serves as President of the Michigan Wine Collaborative

Rockie Rick
Proprietor, Gravity Winery & Red Top Winery

What's it like to Start and Own a Winery?

Rockie grew up on a Berrien County apple and peach farm. After receiving a degree in Business Managment from Sienna Hieghts University and an MBA from Bethel College, Rick started a wine touring company in 2006, in addition to planting wine grapes. Rick opened Gravity Winery in 2011 and recently opened Red Top Winery in 2017. In addition to wine, Rick also produces a variety of hard ciders.

Michael A. Schafer Esq.
The Wine Counselor

Mi-CAST Module 3: Wine Fluency/Sensory Evaluation

Schafer is the charismatic speaker, Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine, Certified Specialist of Spirits and Certified Culinary Travel Professional who entertains while educating. His humorous and fun approach is reflected in his trademark phrase, "I taste bad wine so you don't have to".

Michael is a Professor at both The Culinary Institute of Baker College and Oakland County Community College. He created the Dorsey Schools beverage program. He is an international keynote speaker at wine and spirits events around the globe. Michael has authored numerous articles in various publications, including cover stories for Hour Detroit, Michigan Wine Country magazine and Edible Grand Traverse. His quarterly articles are found in the Tasters Guild Journal and the Journal of the American Wine Society.

Michael is on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Wine Organization, a charitable organization over 6,000 strong, dedicated to funding charities through entertaining education.

Dr. Manfred Stoll
Geisenheim University, Germany

Current Viticultural Challenges - a German Perspective
Dr. Stoll is the current head of the Department of General and Organic Viticulture at Geisenheim University in Germany. He is an esteemed voice on plant anatomy, general viticulture, field program viticulture, and world viticulture. He will discuss current viticultural challenges from a German perspective, which is valuable to Michigan growers who are working in a similar climate.

Adam Sullivan
Creative Director, Balzac Communications

What Story Does Your Label Tell?

Simply put, Adam makes our design department one of the best in California. His designs for websites (he did ours, for one), wine labels and packaging, logos and other work give Balzac a distinct edge over other agencies.

Adam's broad education, focused by his studies in graphic design at Santa Rosa College, gives him the ability to combine excellent design with fine art " he s an illustrator as well as an expert with digital design. It makes his work memorable: striking, effective, and fun. He loves having copywriters right in the next office to keep things moving along. And he knows way too much about TTB requirements
for wine labels.

Please visit the Balzac Communications design portfolio to view his work.

Jess and Dave Youngblood
Youngblood Vineyard

What's it like to Start and Own a Winery?

Dave and Jess Youngblood have spent nearly two decades living in some of the most beautiful wine regions of California, Washington and Virginia. In 2015, they returned to their family farm in Metro Detroit with aspirations to plant a vineyard. Since 1945, the farm has been home to five generations of farmers in Dave's family, so putting down "roots" on the old homestead was always the couple's dream. Youngblood Vineyard is now home to nearly 21,000 cold hardy vines making it the largest vineyard in Eastern Michigan. The Youngbloods are currently planning for their first commercial sale of estate grown wine in the Spring of 2019.

Thank You to our Generous Sponsors

Grand Cru Sponsor

Meijer logo

Welcome Reception Sponsor

Lake Michigan College

Closing Celebration Sponsor

Saxco Brick Packaging

Session Sponsors

GSI Logo

MI Wine Collaborative logo

Truly MI Vines logo

Vintage Sponsors


Custom Conveyor Concepts
GreenStone 2017


Conference Planning Committee:

Brad Baughman, Michigan State University
Joanne Davidhizar, Michigan State University
Kellie Fox, The Fox Barn Market and Winery
Brian Lillie, Chateau Chantal
Nancie Oxley, St. Julian Winery
Tom Petzold, Old Mission Peninsula wine grape grower
Dr. Paolo Sabbatini, Michigan State University
Lorri Schreiber, Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail
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.