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Michigan Grape & Wine Conference Features Winery Development Pre-Conference and Hospitality Training

The Michigan Grape & Wine Conference is a highly anticipated annual event that brings together many different members of the industry. Vineyard managers, tasting room staff, winery owners, wine educators and wine marketers alike will find sessions appealing to their specialty. The conference is expected to draw about 300 attendees.

This year’s conference will take place February 21st to 24th at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Michigan. It will feature a trade show with a wide variety of sponsors and exhibitors, in addition to valuable educational sessions and interactive learning opportunities. Vendors will be onsite to discuss their products, including insurance, vines, wine labels, bottles, glasses, tanks and more.

A day-long Winery Development Pre-Conference will take place on Wednesday, February 22, for those interested in getting involved with the industry. Participants will learn about licensing requirements, handling wastewater issues, zoning requirements, winery marketing, business planning and much more.

New this year is the Michigan Certified Alcohol Service Training, valuable for members of the service industry, taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday of the week. The three-part program includes Techniques in Alcohol Management® responsible server training, Customer Service Training and a Wine Fluency/Sensory Evaluation course.

In addition to the pre-conference sessions, Thursday’s agenda is filled with courses geared toward vineyard health, business development and the marketing of your winery businesses. Additional activities include a Welcome Reception on Wednesday evening, which includes sampling and networking with winemakers around the state, and a “Travelling Dinner” in which award-winning Michigan wines will be paired with food from around the world.

The conference is designed to benefit both novice and experienced industry members, and encourages participation from neighboring states and regions. For more information and to register for the conference, visit michiganwines.com/conference. Early registration discounts apply prior to February 1st.

Students enrolled in viticulture or enology courses may request discounted registration. Contact Sherri Goodreau, goodreaus@michigan.gov or 517-284-5733 to receive student registration materials.