Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council Minutes of August 4, 2011 Meeting
Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
East Lansing, Michigan
Approved November 3, 2011
Chair Gordon Wenk, MDARD
Sharon Martin, MLCC
Rick Lopus, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits
Tim Harding, Harding's Market
Dan Matthies, Chateau Fontaine Winery
David Anthony, Grape Grower
Steve Lovejoy, Michigan State University
Paul Howland, MEDC
Heather Price, Sandhill Crane Vineyards
Marie-Chantal Dalese, Chateau Chantal (attended in the p.m.)
Linda Jones, MDARD
Sherri Goodreau, MDARD
Rufus Isaacs, MSU
Paolo Sabbatini, MSU
Paul Jenkins, MSU
Mary Beth Grabert, MSU
Beth Bishop, MSU Enviroweather
Brent Ross, MSU
Jay Johnson, USDA
Karel Bush, MDARD (attended late)
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
The meeting was called to order by Council Chair Gordon Wenk at 10:35 a.m. The Chair welcomed the Council and guests. Introductions were made around the room.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
The chair informed the Council that because of the full schedule, the agenda would be split into a morning session and an afternoon session. The Council meeting will break at 12:45 for lunch and strategic planning meeting and reconvene at 3:30 for the remainder of the Council meeting. The chair asked for any revisions to the agenda.
DAVE ANTHONY MOVED THAT THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE AGENDA AS PRESENTED. STEVE LOVEJOY SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
ADOPTION OF MINUTES
RICK LOPUS MOVED THAT THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MAY 12, 2011 AND THE JUNE 15, 2011 COUNCIL MINUTES. DAVE ANTHONY SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Chair Wenk reported on the successful Governor's Summit on Agriculture that took place on August 3 at the Henry Center on MSU's campus for leadership from all areas of the agriculture industry, including rural development, to discuss priorities going forward Information about the outcomes of the Summit will be shared with the Council.
- Linda Jones presented the Council with the final performance report on the Culinary Tourism Grant (Attachment A). The partners in the Culinary Tourism Alliance have had some staff changes and with that, the Alliance has to rebuild its leadership team in order to continue. The Council and its partners will also have to look at how to fund the Alliance.
- In 2009, the Council set up a $5,000 grant for the International Riesling Foundation. The money was used for website content on the International Riesling Foundation website as well as the sweetness scale that is being implemented on wine bottles. The Council has spent $3,500 of the $5,000 and has closed the grant (Attachment B).
- The Michigan Grape & Wine Conference for 2012 is in the planning stages. The conference committee consists of Joe Herman, Brian Lillie, Paolo Sabbatini and Paul Jenkins as well as the Grape & Wine staff. AMR is designing a new logo for the conference along with solicitation of sponsors and exhibitors, registration and collection of speaker bios.
- The 2011 budget for the Council is on track and the 2012 appropriation has been approved by the Legislature. Linda will bring a proposed Council budget for FY 2012 to the November Council meeting for discussion.
- The Council is participating in a strategic planning meeting after lunch today with Mark Coscarelli and Jacquie Lafay of Public Sector Consultants.
ELIGIBILITY REVIEW OF NEW WINERIES
Linda Jones informed the Council that Harbor Springs Winery is currently open. Harbor Springs Winery was approved at the May 2011 Council meeting with the condition that they receive their license from Michigan Liquor Control Commission prior to being listed on the Council's website.
The Council has received applications from two wineries to be considered as "producers of Michigan wine" for the purposes of promotional assistance by the Council. The Council decided to vote separately on each application.
Verterra Winery applied to be added to the list of producers of Michigan wine. Linda confirmed that the winery meets the eligibility requirements set forth by the Council and recommended to the Council that the winery be approved.
MOTION: DAN MATTHIES MOVED THAT THE COUNCIL ACCEPT THE RECOMMENDATION AND THAT THE COUNCIL APPROVE VERTERRA WINERY AS A "PRODUCER OF MICHIGAN WINE" FOR PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES OF THE COUNCIL. RICK LOPUS SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Flying Otter Winery applied to be added to the list of producers of Michigan wine. Linda confirmed that the winery meets the eligibility requirements set forth by the Council and recommended to the Council that the winery be approved.
MOTION: TIM HARDING MOVED THAT THE COUNCIL ACCEPT THE RECOMMENDATION AND THAT THE COUNCIL APPROVE FLYING OTTER WINERY AS A "PRODUCER OF MICHIGAN WINE" FOR PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES OF THE COUNCIL. RICK LOPUS SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED WITH 5 AYES AND 1 NAY, BY DAN MATTHIES
Linda Jones distributed to the Council a copy of a letter sent from the Council Chair Gordon Wenk to Acoustic Brewing Company regarding the eligibility requirements the Council has set for wineries (Attachment C).
Linda also distributed a copy of a letter she sent to the Straits Area Grape Growers Association in response to a grant request made by the association (Attachment D).
VITICULTURE AND ENOLOGY RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (REAC) REPORT
Linda Jones gave the REAC report to the Council on behalf of Bill Harrison.
- The 2012 research proposals are due August 8, 2011. Copies of the proposals will go out to the committee members who will review and make recommendations for funding to the Council at the November Council meeting.
- Interim reports for the 2011 projects were due August 1, 2011 and payments will be sent out shortly.
- Ron Perry's wine class at MSU has expanded and now has 90 students enrolled.
- The multi-state Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) grant to study cold-hardy wine grape varieties has been awarded $2.5 million of the $5 million requested. MSU personnel are involved with a couple of the projects.
- Paul Jenkins informed the Council that Traverse City has been selected as the site for the 2012 ASEV meeting in July. Paul and Paolo Sabbatini have asked the Council for $10,000 to help sponsor the meeting.
- Dr. Rufus Isaacs reported to the Council of a meeting that took place in Traverse City. Representatives from Washington DC, who make decisions about pesticides, toured Michigan to gain knowledge about Michigan's agriculture industry and its need for pesticides. They spent three days touring cherry and apple orchards.
- Beth Bishop from the MSU Enviroweather station gave the Council an informative update on the 64 weather stations set up within the state.
- Mary Beth Grabert from the Land Policy Institute also gave the Council an update on the mapping project that the Council had previously funded. She, on behalf of the Institute, is requesting an additional $2,800 from the Council to finish work on the project. The accuracy of the vineyard locations needs perfecting.
- Jay Johnson from USDA came to discuss the anticipated funding from a Specialty Crop Block Grant to initiate a fruit acreage survey. The last survey was done 5 years ago and is necessary to get an accurate estimate of the changes in fruit acreage in Michigan.
CONSUMER AND TRADE PROMOTION AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Karel Bush joined the meeting and gave the promotion report to the Council on behalf of Heather Price. She reported the following items:
The results of the Wine & Spirits Competition are listed on the michiganwines.com website.
The Wine Country magazine and the Vintage Michigan Club continue to grow. Requests come in daily.
The online survey will be on the web until October. So far 540 people have responded to the survey.
The state's Department of Technology, Management and Budget is working on approval to migrate the Wine Industry Resources of Michigan (WIRM) to a new database that will result in a more user-friendly interface from michiganwines.com. That migration will take place in the fall.
The promotion committee has purchased some radio spots to promote the Gold Medal Reception.
The promotion committee has denied a funding request from the MFEA (Michigan Festivals and Events Association) for a billboard campaign to include Michigan wineries.
Brent Ross from MSU Department of Agricultural Economics gave some insight on a project he is working on, related to business models in the wine industry. Michigan wineries were asked to complete a survey to contribute data to the project. Researchers from Michigan, Missouri and New York were involved in this pilot study on cool climate wine regions.
Dave Anthony - the weather in the Upper Peninsula has been beautiful.
Sharon Martin - MLCC has two new commissioners - Andy Deloney and Terri Quimby.
Tim Harding - the Harding's Cup Cab Franc Challenge is scheduled for August 18th in Hickory Corners. Mr. Harding invited the Council members to attend.
Dan Matthies - the growing season started with a lot of doubt. The weather was wet and cool, but things are looking good now. Tourist numbers have been high with the cool start to the season. People came to the wineries instead of the beaches. The Pure Michigan campaign is drawing people from many states around the country.
Steve Lovejoy - Universities are looking at the need to collaborate on projects to help with funding issues.
Paul Howland - there is the opportunity for wineries to use the Pure Michigan logo for marketing. Linda stated that St. Julian does have this logo on their wines.
Short Term Budget items for 2012:
The meeting recessed until 3:30 p.m.
- Linda is asking the Council to think about sponsoring some scholarships ($2,000) to industry members to attend the Midwest Grape & Wine Conference that is held in Missouri in February. The conference is very informative though expensive to attend. She feels it would be beneficial to offer financial help to wineries who would like to attend.
The Council supports this idea and would like to receive some feedback or report from the recipients of the scholarships upon their return.
- Linda noted that the Wine Market Council (WMC) has given state associations, including Michigan, an offer to join the Council at a reduced rate ($3000 for the first year) in order to obtain copies of the WMC's research reports and provide a free speaker for the 2012 Michigan Grape and Wine Conference. Council members expressed concern that the research reports would not be heavily used by the members of the industry and that key points of these consumer studies are generally reported in the wine trade publications. They also expressed concern that the membership fee might increase substantially in the future.
Linda asked the Council for permission to proceed with plans for expenditures discussed during the meeting that the Council favored in the discussion. (Paul Jenkins, Mary Beth Grabert, and out of state conferences for staff.) She will present the full budget for FY 2012 at the November Council meeting, once some of the impacts of the Strategic Planning direction are better known.
The Grape & Wine Council reconvened at 4:00 p.m.
MICHIGAN WINE PRODUCERS REPORT
Marie-Chantal Dalese joined the afternoon session of the Council meeting to give her report on this morning's Wine Producers meeting. The association is now a legal entity as the paperwork has been filed. Invoices will be going out next week to all of the wineries who wish to belong to the association. Rob Elhenicky will be the lobbyist for the association and will be sending quarterly reports out to the members.
MICHIGAN WINE & SPIRITS COMPETITION REPORT
Chris Cook informed the Council that although the number of wine entries was down at this year's competition, the number of wineries entering was up. This year almost half of the judges were from out of state. Chris stated that he gets more requests to participate in this competition from out of state judges every year. For the first time, there were two guest judges participating in the tastings; Larry Crown from the Kellogg Center and Evan Pinsonnault from TV 6 News.
On behalf of the Council, Chair Wenk gave Chris his appreciation for his work and that of the Kellogg Center in making it a success.
There was no public comment.
MOTION: RICK LOPUS MOVED THAT THE MEETING BE ADJOURNED. DAN MATTHIES SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.
The following documents are on file in the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council office and can be obtained upon request:
- Culinary Tourism Grant Final Report
- International Riesling Foundation Final Report
- Gordon Wenk letter to Acoustic Brewing Company
- Linda Jones letter to Straits Area Grape Growers Association
- Paul Jenkins letter requesting Council sponsorship of ASEV meeting ($10,000)
- Linda Jones letter to Wine Producers Association
- Land Policy Institute request for funding in connection with Fruit Acreage survey ($2800)
- Wine Market Council membership proposal ($3000)