I had a wonderful time speaking about the Midwest wine industry at LOCAL FOODS on WED SEP 28. I was invited by Ethan Fischer and Michelle Erwin, managers of the store to talk about our FORTY WINKS brand made in MI and also to talk about cold climate hardy grapes and why we need them in the Midwest.
We had about twenty guests at the presentation and there was a wide range of knowledge about wine in the room. I had fun talking and sharing what I know about the wine industry in the Midwest and how it differs from CA, WA and OR states.
We tasted samples from the local wines that are sold at LOCAL FOODS and I discussed how each of the wines are made. I have included my outline for the seminar below. Please contact me if you have any questions!
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Winemaking and Wineries in the Midwest
Grape Varietals (Vinifera)
Noble grapes with name familiarity
Who uses them in the Midwest
Cold Climate Varietals
What are they?
Cornell and Univ of MN
Why do we need them in the Midwest
Winters of 2013 and 2014
Climate Change issues in the Midwest
Finishing Wine and Wine Styles
Dry vs Sweet
Use of Oak
Sulfites and Tannins
Organic, Biodynamic, and additives
Forty Winks Merlot
Forty Winks Pinot Grigio
Forty Winks Rose
Illinois Sparkling Co. BRUT
Black Star Farms Pinot Noir
Black Star Farms Red House Blend
Merlot (primarily MI grapes but some CA due to 2013 and 2014 winters)
Pinot Grigio (same issue)
Rose (Lake MI Shore AVA, 100% MI grapes, blend of Pinot Noir, Chambourcin, and Chancellor
Will soon carry Red Blend from TC and some fruit wines (Cherry and Apple)
Illinois Sparkling Co.:
St Pepin and Frontenac Gris grown in IL
Charmat vs Method Champagnois
Black Star Farms:
100% pinot noir
Light use of French Oak
Red House Blend
Blend of vinifera with cold climate varietals
Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and the French-American hybrids Foch, Marquette and Regant.