The Truth is out there … if the sheep didn’t eat it.
The Detroit News reports that 2016 is shaping up to be a great year for Michigan wine grapes:
Frigid winters contributed to dismal harvests the past two falls. In 2014, Michigan winemakers lost a majority of their crops to the extreme cold. And last year, up to 75 percent of the wine crop was decimated because of winter, a late spring and, in northern Michigan, a late-summer hail storm. Many wineries were forced to supplement their vintages with grapes and juice bought from out-of-state growers.
“Winemakers are very excited about the harvest this year,” said Karel Bush, executive director of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. “After that second brutal winter, some vineyards had to buy from elsewhere and that made it very difficult for them, especially if their business model is to be an estate winery. You have to be open, you have bills to pay, staff to pay, so you had to buy grapes and juice from elsewhere. This year, they’re delighted to have their own crop to work with.”
…It’s good news for an industry that continues to grow and is winning accolades for both white and red varietals, most notably chardonnay, riesling, cabernet franc and pinot noir. Home to more than 120 wineries, Michigan ranks 10th in the nation in production, producing more than 2.5 million gallons a year — a number expected to be reached again this year. And wineries, with their ever-expanding tasting rooms and activities, have become a big business across the state, attracting more than 2 million visitors a year.
Mark took this photo at Bel Lago Winery on Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. The nets he refers to are those snow-looking piles that are white nets that hang over the vines to keep birds away during the final weeks of ripening. View his photo background bigilicious and see more late-fall goodness in his slideshow.
A Healthier Michigan is a pretty cool blog with some state-specific tips for better health. Their post on the annual Michigan’s Apple Crunch Day (Thursday, October 13) says that every October, schools, organizations, and businesses bite into Michigan apples on the same day, setting records for apples eaten.
It’s a partnership between the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Farm to School, Cherry Capital Foods and Cultivate Michigan as a reminder of the importance of agriculture and knowing where your food comes from. Last year 400,000 people in Michigan ate a Michigan-grown apple on Apple Crunch Day!
The Michigan Apple Committee notes that with 11.3 million apple trees covering 35,500 acres on 825 family-run farms, Michigan is the nation’s third largest producer of apples!
Here’s a video with photos from last year’s Apple Crunch by Cherry Capital Foods!
This weekend I’m where I am this weekend every year, helping out at the Earthwork Harvest Gathering. One of the photographers who’s helping out is Michigan in Pictures contributor Adam Johnson of Brockit, inc.
Up here in the Traverse City area we don’t have cherry blossoms yet, but I’ve been seeing reports that cherries and other fruit crops are in bloom in southwest Michigan. Expect the TC area to bloom in a week or two and please share what you’re seeing in the comments!