April declared Michigan Wine Month

In a recent announcement, Governor Snyder declared April as ‘Michigan Wine Month’ in support of Michigan’s growing wine and grape industry and its impact on the state’s economy. The Michigan wine and grape industry has successfully become value-added agriculture in that the crops end up supporting and strengthening both the agriculture and the tourism industries.

In fact, Michigan’s wine and grape industries contribute more than $300 million to the state’s economy each year.  And sales of Michigan-made wine rose over 6% in 2012. Michigan is also the fourth largest grape growing state with 15,000 acres of vineyards. That vineyard area has doubled in the past 10 years, coming in at 2,650 acres, making Michigan the fifth largest in wine grape production. Most of Michigan’s wine grapes are growth within 25-30 miles of Lake Michigan.

11 wineries were opened in the past year, making the total list of Michigan wineries come in at a staggering 101. New wineries include:

Blustone Vineyards, Lake Leelanau

Cadillac Winery, Leroy

French Valley Vineyards, Suttons Bay

Hawthorne Vineyards, Old Mission Peninsula

Heavenly Vineyards, Morley

Laurentide Winery, Lake Leelanau

Villa Mari Vineyards, Old Mission Peninsula

Green Barn Winery, Smiths Creek

12 Corners Vineyards, South Haven

Northern Sun Winery, Bark River

Thunder Bay Winery, Alpena

In moderation, wine consumption can also provide a few benefits to your overall health. Wine can reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and slow the progression of degenerative neurological diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. There are certain phytochemicals in the structure of wine, called flavonoids and resveratrol, that act as antioxidants in our bodies, helping to prevent damage caused by ‘free radicals.’ The key to utilizing the health benefits of wine, and other alcohol consumption, is to monitor the amount you drink. As a general rule, men should consume no more than 2 glasses per day and women no more than 1 glass per day. In this case, 1 glass refers to a 5-ounce pour of red or white wine.

April will also be the release of the 2013 Michigan Wine Country Magazine. All wineries will have copies or you can request a printed copy in your mailbox.

What is your favorite Michigan wine or winery?

Photo credit: cletch

Kristin Coppens

About Kristin Coppens

Kristin Coppens is responsible for BCBSM coverage of the West Michigan, Northern Michigan, and Upper Peninsula regions. Kristin is a writer, social media enthusiast, and information junkie. A self-proclaimed foodie, techie, and political nerd, she is a dedicated promoter of Grand Rapids community development, urban engagement, arts, healthcare, wellness, supporting and buying local, entrepreneurism, and the city as a whole.
 
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