Seminar on Midwest Wines at LOCAL FOODS

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

  • My background

  • Winemaking and Wineries in the Midwest

  • Illinois

  • Michigan

  • Indiana

Grape Varietals (Vinifera)

  • Noble grapes with name familiarity

  • Who uses them in the Midwest

  • 45th Parallel

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

Wine Tasting

  • 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

Forty Winks:

  • 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.:

  • Brut (Dry)

  • St Pepin and Frontenac Gris grown in IL

  • Charmat vs Method Champagnois

  • No oak

Black Star Farms:

  • Pinot Noir

  • 100% pinot noir

  • MI grapes

  • 45th Parallel

  • Light use of French Oak

  • Burgundian style

  • Light red

  • Red House Blend

  • Blend of vinifera with cold climate varietals

  • Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and the French-American hybrids Foch, Marquette and Regant.

  • Some residual sugar to balance acidity

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