Michigan 2018 Wine Grape Vineyard Establishment Conference announced

The February 2018 Wine Grape Vineyard Establishment Conference will provide essential elements for those exploring entry into Michigan’s expanding winery industry.

The Michigan winery industry economic impact is valued at $5.4 billion with more than 130 wineries according to the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council (John Dunham & Associates, 2017). With wine grape acreage standing at about 3,000 acres, the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council looks to reach 10,000 acres by 2024.

Many existing fruit growers and new entrants to agriculture regard Michigan’s wine industry as a growth business. About 40 percent of participants in the 2017 Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council Winery Development Pre-conference indicate that they will start wineries and invest $1-2.7 million in real estate, vineyards and related expenses through 2019. 

A wine grape establishment conference, held by Michigan State University Extension, will take place Feb. 9, 2018, at two locations using a webinar hybrid format. The program agenda calls for speakers from four states to address basic topics such as soil fertility, site selection, varieties, establishment costs, site preparation, planting and care, trellis construction and pest management in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and Traverse City, Michigan. The detailed agenda and registration information may be found at Wine Grape Vineyard Establishment Conference 2018.

Of those who participated in the 2016 Wine Grape Vineyard Establishment Conference, 90 percent would recommend it to others. Over 80 percent of participants indicated that the conference helped them with educational resources, grape training, sites selection and pest management. 

The registration fee is $100 for the basic conference and $30 for the optional bulletin package. Space is limited, so pre-registration and payment are required by Feb. 2, 2018.  

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