Michigan wine is getting noticed for its quality, tourism impact, and growing number of wineries.

I had pondered making a two-day trip into Michigan to see a few wineries then was able to combine that with some stops for work so I’ll be in the state through much of Friday.

I kick things off tomorrow with a wine and business stop. Tuesday morning I will visit one of the real iconic figures in Michigan wine – Doug Welsch at Fenn Valley Vineyards. For Indiana readers, think of Bill Oliver at Oliver Wines in Bloomington.

Welsch’s family has been in the winery business since the 1970s. So he has seen the changes in Michigan from a handful of small family farm wineries to today’s booming 70-plus winery industry.

Doug does some unique things at his winery and has a lot of opinions about the Michigan wine business.

I will post each day about my stops and will be crafting a story for Palate Press, a newspaper column for my 11 Indiana newspapers, and more material for this blog.

Things kick into high gear Wednesday. After a night in Traverse City, I’ll be stopping at Shady Lane Cellars, Black Star Farms, and Leelanau Cellars all along the Grand Traverse Bay in the most upper northwest part of the state.

Thursday will feature visits to the Old Mission Peninsula and a couple of winery stops there. I’ll make my way back down state later Thursday and hope to pick up a few more Michigan wineries then and on my way back to Indiana Friday later morning and afternoon.

I have really been impressed with what I’ve read while researching Michigan wines. I have some interviews lined up with some really key people in the Michigan wine industry.

Come back Tuesday-Friday nights for an update!

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