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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All-Michigan Not So Taxing Wine Event at the BOB in Grand Rapids, April 15

Although no fault of our own, April may forever be remembered as Dreaded Tax Deadline Month. Now for the good news: April has also been designated Michigan Wine Month by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Throughout the month Michigan’s regional wineries are getting operations cranked up and ready to roll for the busy summer season. The wine industry gets things started with a bang at the “All-Michigan Not So Taxing Wine Event” to be held at the BOB in downtown Grand Rapids on April 15 from 5:30 to 9:00pm.

Event organizer Bill Koski says the reason to hold such a gathering is simple.

“We’re here to promote Michigan wines and at the same time promote Michigan jobs. This industry has to be one of the few bright spots of growth in our economy,” says Koski.

According to the michiganwines.com website, the official website of Michigan’s wine industry, wines made here produce nearly $790 million in total economic value for the state. Wine makers in the state employ 5,000 people with a payroll of $190 million.

Koski reports that 31 wineries will be represented Thursday on the 3rd floor of the BOB to display wares and talk shop. The $20 admission price includes opportunities to meet the winemaker, educational talks designed to inform about wine production in Michigan and, of course, chances to sample wines and food made from by wineries and bakeries from Traverse City to Fennville.

According to Koski, General Manager with the Gilmore Collection, large wine gatherings like this are rare.

“Normally--other than conventions--these large events are held up north at places like Shanty Creek. We’ve got a who’s who of winemakers coming down from Traverse City including Chateau Chantal and Larry Mawby. The southwest growing region is well represented by Fenn Valley, Round Barn, and Lemon Creek Farm Winery of Berrien Springs,” says Koski.

Koski noted that five Michigan food producers are signed up. They include Stone House Bread of Traverse City (now available locally at D&W), the famous Farm Country Cheese House in Lakeview--the heart of Amish Country--which collects milk from 80 Amish farms to produce Amish cheese. Also, what would the afternoon look like without a trout farm representative on hand. The Douglas Winery from Manistee will be there with organic cheeses and hard apple cider. Cider, Koski notes, is “the oldest drink in America.” Other vendors slated to appear are Vertical Paradise Farms with tomatoes and Ingraberg Farms of Rockford with greens from their garden.

Koski says that because of the increased interest from winemakers he hopes to make this event an annual stop on the wine calendar.

“This is by far the biggest all-Michigan tasting event to date. It’s not too often this many winemakers get together in this area let alone in the same room. It should be fun.”

More info: http://www.thebob.com/

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