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Wines from Michigan

A Wine Region on the Rise!

Michigan, which is located in the Great Lakes and Midwestern parts of the U.S, is the country’s fourth-largest vine-growing state.

Recently, the state has been named as the Wine Region on the Rise by a wine enthusiast.

What made the wine enthusiast to describe the state in this manner? Let’s discuss in detail about the viticulture and viniculture that is being carried out in this U.S. state to determine whether this statement is true!
Wine grape varieties
Let’s see in detail about the state as a viticultural zone here.

Looking at Michigan as a Viticultural Zone

The state is found to be located at higher latitudes when compared to several other wine regions of the country.

However, surprisingly, it’s been able to produce wine grapes in larger quantities.

We can find that the state has almost 13,700 acres under vine cultivation. Although several of these grapes are being used for table grapes and grape juice production, the state is contributing more than 1.3 million gallons of wine every year.

There are over 112 operating wineries in the state at present. Moreover, the state is contributing over $300 million to the country through its wines and enotourism alone.

Now, why can’t we call this as a wine region on the rise? It’s absolutely true! Also, it’s to be noted that the wine production in the state has been doubled over the past ten years.

Wine Regions of Michigan

We can see that the wine industry of Michigan is dating only from the times after the repeal of Prohibition in the United States.

As such, the state is currently having four American Viticultural Areas from where the majority of quality bottled wines are coming.

The Four AVA

Fennville AVA

This is located in the Allegan County and is seemed to be a sub-AVA that is located within the Lake Michigan Shore AVA.

Here, we can see both the Vitis vinifera and Vitis labrusca varieties of grapes.

Lake Michigan Shore AVA

This AVA is located in the southwestern part of the state, which is known to be the oldest modern grape region of Michigan. It’s in this AVA that the majority of vineyards in the state are located. This way, this AVA represents half of the state’s wine production.

Leelanau Peninsula AVA

This is located in the Leelanau County and is found to be surrounded by water. This helps the region by moderating the cold climate of this region.

Old Mission Peninsula AVA

This is located in the Grand Traverse County and is found to be the home for well-acclaimed wines of Michigan. This region is found to be concentrating on the production of Vitis vinifera wines and is producing around 9,000 cases of these wines every year.

We can see that the wines that are being produced in these AVAs are similar in characteristics with all the regions being located in close proximity to the Lake Michigan. This lake is found to be providing a favorable microclimate to these AVAs.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Wines and Wine Grapes of Michigan

Within the Michigan viticultural zone, we can see three different types of grape varieties that are being used for the production of wines.

Vinifera varieties

Since the year 1997, about 90% of the new vine plantings are found to be vinifera varieties here.

The major vinifera varieties that are found here are:

  • Chardonnay
  • Riesling
  • Pinot Noir
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Cabernet Franc

Hybrid varieties

The major hybrid varieties in Michigan are:

  • Vidal
  • Chambourcin
  • Marechal
  • Foch
  • Vignoles

Native varieties

Concord and Niagara are the major native varieties of Michigan.



Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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