Michigan Wine: Grapes of Worth

Michigan Wine: Check out these just released stats from Michigan State University about Michigan Wine Country (Northern Michigan's Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsula's being pivotal regions) and raise your glass.

Michigan has seen wine grape growth increase by 500 percent since 1973.

Michigan's wine industry has grown from less than 10 to 86 wineries, producing more than 1 million gallons of wine each year.

Michigan vineyards see 800,000 visitors annually.

Michigan's wine industry contributes $300 million to Michigan’s economy

Michigan wine grapes include riesling, pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot blanc, cabernet franc, merlot, chardonel and more.  

Learn More about Northern Michigan wine country.

Article Comments

  • winemkr

    chardonel and more.

    “And more” has nothing to do with fine wine, or even less than fine wine. The southern part of the state has a large concord grape production capacity as does washington state. The real facts are that michigan as a wine producing state is very small among it’s peers (nothing wrong with that at all) and the appellations differ from north to south.

    I’d also like to point out that wine producers in northern michigan have historically led research compared to MSU with their own funds and peer pressured MSU into changing it’s focus (rapidly 30 years ago) to try and keep up with the private sector.

    Just saying.

  • Anonymous

    I am a graduate of the MSU viticulture and enology program and I know that the best winemakers in MI went to the MSU program as I did. I strongly disagree with the previous comment. MSU helped so much our wine industry as well as the juice grape industry.

    Just saying

  • Anonymous

    Fine wines and fine drinkers are only in California. In the east of US the most sold wine is Concord wine! Not just saying, this is a fact! The Eastern of US wine industry depends on the number of bottles of Concord wine sold, not of any other variety. So, you keep drinking Concord if you want a wine industry out of CA!

  • Anonymous

    Your comment, “Fine Wines and fine drinkers are only in California,” seems like a completely blank statement. Also the tone of arrogance seems quite high for the topic. I am a winemaker in California and believe we are making great wine but to assume we are IT in terms of premium wine making seems drastically far-fetched. Not to mention the amount of inspiration that is pulled from French and Italian producers in the California wine industry. I have had Michigan wines and feel like they have improved greatly over the past decade. None of which, have been Concord wines. If you want to bash an industry, use some facts. Lastly, some of our best wine customers are located in the Eastern United States. Perhaps, you should travel out of California and see what the rest of the world has to offer.

  • Anonymous

    See here you anonymous whipper-snappers!! I’ve been in the MI industry professionally for 16 years (still a babae – I know) and there are only a small handful of concord wines even made in michigan (5 maybe?) Sure, we are one of the largest Juice grape producers (concord, niagara) due to the 14,000+ acres of grapes grown in SW Michigan (primarily for Welch’s) – but the comparatively meager 2,800 acres of wine grapes in our soils are gaining quality and reputation internationally with every vintage. Does Cali rock the house? Sure! When we have the production to even ship it out of the midwest before all the solid fans buy it all up – you can have some of the riesling too “Mr. Cali Fine wine.”

    I would also agree that the NW Mich wine industry has consistently lead the charge in viticultural research as a function of it’s internal need to match the high-quality wineries located here – whether the workers are educated at MSU, UC-Davis, Cornell, Geisenheim or wonderfully talented OJT types – point is – the quality is there. I beleive the growth listed above is a good barometer of the market’s thoughts on our work thus far…

    Do we still have “Ma and Pop wineries” making sweet fruit wines at which a classic snob might turn their noses up? Sure. But so does every other region on the planet! Take the time to search out the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsula(s) in NW Michigan and you’ll be rewarded greatly.

  • Anonymous

    I am looking at the fact….straight! CA produce 90% of the wine in US. Most sold wine in Michigan…..Simply Red….Concord wine by St. Julian.

  • Anonymous

    Check out the web site:


    nope, no concord there…

  • Anonymous

    You are right, I was confused. The wine is Red Heron. Still the most sold wine in MI and RED CAT out of NY is the most sold wine in the east of US (Concord wine). I guess St Julian has something also with Niagara and it is #2 in MI?