Wineries recovering after harsh winter

After the harsh winters of 2014 and 2015, Michigan winemakers are working to recover. On Tuesday Governor Rick Snyder declared April as Michigan wine month to encourage patrons to visit local tasting rooms.

The release from Governor Snyder's office said 2 million people visit wineries in Michigan every year.

Debbie Van Pelt said, “We are one of the top wineries in the state, really known for our Reds, but Michigan does white wines like nobody's business.”

The product specialist at the White Pine Winery in St. Joseph Michigan said despite weather woes, tourism and interest in Michigan wine is thriving.

Van Pelt said, “Farming meets science, that is wine making. So as a farmer you get used to these fluctuations so I think right now all the vineyards are in a wait and see mode and seeing how the vines are growing, and doing everything they can right now to help that vine reach maturity.”

Van Pelt was hosting a private tasting on Tuesday and she said their grapes are harvested at 'Sophie's Vineyard' in Lawton, Michigan.

Van Pelt said, “Our wine maker is Dr. Dave Miller, he has a PhD in viticulture and I was actually in the shop when he came in that winter and just threw his hands up and said at least I don't have to worry about it. There's an equation of snow, length of cold, and temperature that is like the perfect storm.”

From 2010 to 2012, Van Pelt said they had excellent harvests so they still have a lot of wine to serve customers in their tasting room.

Governor Snyder said the sale of wine in Michigan has doubled in the past 10 years.

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