Interested in starting a winery? Attend the February Winery Development Preconference

Prospective winery owners will obtain basic information about starting a winery in Michigan by participating in the one-day winery development conference to be held Feb. 13, 2013 at Michigan State University.

With both wine grape acreage and winery numbers hitting all-times highs in Michigan, the state’s winery industry continues to grow. To assist potential entrepreneurs in understanding the elements of a successful winery business launch, a one-day winery development preconference will be held Feb.13 in association with the 2013 Michigan Grape and Wine Conference. The session will be held 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, East Lansing, MI 48824.

Preconference sponsors, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Michigan State University Extension, Michigan State University Product Center, Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology, and Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) will provide basic information about starting a winery in Michigan. Topics include wine grape suitability, industry trends, business planning, marketing, licensing requirements, local zoning considerations, finance, owner experiences and resources.

Over 85 percent of participants in a 2009 winery development conference lead by these partners were able to learn the specifics of starting a winery and network with successful industry people. These attendees took action toward starting 16 wineries, creating an estimated 121 new jobs and investing $4.375 million according to a survey report by The Michigan State University Center for Economic Analysis.

Dr. Miguel Gómez of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University is the session’s featured speaker. Dr. Gómez will address basic business planning, cash flow, return on investment, and related financial factors for small wineries in the Great Lakes region.

For more information or to the register for the session, go to: www.michiganwines.com/conference. The preconference registration fee is $80 per person or $100 per person after Feb. 1, 2013. Participants are invited to attend the full conference Feb. 14-15 to further their learning and networking opportunities.