MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by CGT and DNR)

TRAVERSE CITY: Northern Michigan’s oldest winery is honoring and supporting state parks, trails and waterways. Chateau Grand Traverse is launching a new series of wines supporting Michigan’s great outdoors and the Department of Natural Resources. Through this unique pilot project, Chateau Grand Traverse (CGT) has produced and bottled three custom-labeled wines and is committing a portion of the proceeds to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to better Michigan state parks, trails, and waterways – and online visitors get to choose how the funds will be used.

The new series, “CGT Wines of the Great Outdoors” brings together the best of Michigan’s natural resources – both agricultural and recreational – for the benefit of the state’s residents and visitors. The three wines, appropriately named Woods, Waters, and Picnic, will be released in retail stores throughout Michigan, just in time for the biggest camping weekend of the year.

“We wanted to produce wines that can pair easily with everyday activities – a reward for a long hike or a complement to the picnic basket,” said CGT President Eddie O’Keefe. “As wine growers and producers, we make our living from the land, so it seemed a natural fit to support those who use Michigan’s natural resources for recreation.”

CGT worked closely with Ann Arbor-based Pryor Design Company, who created all packaging and provided marketing design services pro bono, to create a product line that truly embodies Michigan’s natural beauty. “It’s everything we love about Michigan – biking, hiking, sunsets, and fun with those who matter most. Being a part of this campaign was an easy decision for our team,” said Scott Pryor, Principal and founder of Pryor Design. Through a multi-year partnership agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Chateau Grand Traverse will give back approximately 50% of the net profits generated from the Wines of the Great Outdoors program. An annual donation will be formally presented to the DNT on or before October 1st of each year. 

“We are humbled to have private businesses show so much support for public lands,” said Maia Turek, Recreation Programmer for the DNR. “This partnership will go a long way toward encouraging residents to get out and enjoy Michigan’s woods and water, while helping the DNR share the story about real threats to natural resources and opportunities to improve recreation experiences for everyone.”

The DNR and CGT are leaving how the funds are to be spent up to “the people.” By visiting, anyone over 21 can vote for funds to be dedicated to one of three areas of need:

  • Wayfinding Signage for Trails – With more than 12,000 miles of trails in Michigan used by hikers, bikers, paddlers, equestrians, and motorsport enthusiasts, it’s important to keep them safe by making trails easy to navigate. A vote for this category means funds would go toward improved signage for motorized, non-motorized and water trails.
  • Improving Accessibility – Did you know that Michigan is home to the only wheelchair-accessible waterfall? That’s a great example of an accessibility improvement that guarantees our great outdoors are great experiences for everyone. A vote for accessibility will help improve access to Michigan’s water recreation, including wheelchair accessible kayak launches, fishing piers, and beach paths.
  • Tree Replacement – From Belle Isle to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan’s forests have been hit with several devastating diseases and infestations. Oak Wilt and Emerald Ash Borer have forced the DNR to remove thousands of hazardous trees to keep campers safe, and replacement is a daunting and expensive task. A vote for this fund will help replace trees in state parks that were felled due to disease or bug infestations that occurred when infected firewood was transported into park forests.

Voting opens May 22, and wines will be available in retail stores throughout the state the week of May 18, 2015. Woods, Waters, and Picnic will also be available throughout the summer in the CGT tasting room and online store.

For more information on CGT Wines of the Great Outdoors, visit

Chateau Grand Traverse is a family-owned and operated winery, producing world-class wines on Old Mission Peninsula for over forty years. The winery focuses on producing wines from European Vinifera grape varietals with the upmost quality, consistency, and environmental sustainability.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. Michigan State Parks host 22 million annual visitors, oversee boat launches and harbors used by 1 million registered boaters, and manage thousands of miles of trails used by hikers, bikers, equestrians, skiers, runners, and more.

Pryor Design Company is a multi-disciplinary creative firm, based in Ann Arbor, that is focused on helping companies large and small create successful brands. Whether building a brand from scratch, or helping an existing brand become stronger, their daily mission is to use design as a catalyst to help companies thrive. Pryor values work that is smart, effective, and inspired, and cherishes their relationships with like-minded clients.