Wineries Converge in Detroit for Annual Showcase

More than 100 Michigan wines available for sampling during event


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Most of Michigan’s 100-plus wineries are many miles away from metro Detroit.

Now diehard tri-county area fans can take a virtual tour of the state’s wine trails closer to home via the Michigan Wines Showcase on Monday, April 20.

The annual celebration unites more than two dozen wineries from throughout the state under a single roof at The Rattlesnake Club in downtown Detroit. Attendees will be able to sample a variety of reds and whites while interacting with winemakers.

“The showcase is the perfect opportunity for the folks of southeast Michigan to explore Michigan wine country without having to leave our area,” says Claudia Tyagi.

She and fellow master sommelier Madeline Triffon partner with the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council to coordinate the event.

“The showcase has pulled wineries from all of Michigan’s wine regions to show their very best products to one of the most sophisticated markets in the region,” Tyagi says. “It’s a great opportunity for our local resident wine lovers to taste a variety of wines while being given access to winemakers, winery owners, and winery personnel.”

Karel Bush, promotion specialist with the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council, says guests can expect to encounter more than 100 wines produced from locally grown grapes.

“It’s a fantastic snapshot of the exciting things happening in the Michigan wine industry — from well-known varietals like cabernet franc, pinot noir, riesling, and chardonnay to wines that are less familiar but equally delicious, like noiret, traminette, and vignoles,” Bush says. “It’s an amazing opportunity to try wines you haven’t tried before.”

Debuting in fall 2010 and shifting to April the following year to coincide with Michigan Wine Month, the showcase is especially appealing to people who would like to delve deeper into the art and science of winemaking.

“This is also one of the few events in the Detroit area where winemakers, winery owners, and other key representatives from 25 wineries are on hand,” Bush says. “You can talk to the winemakers, taste their wines, and share in the excitement about their craft.”

An added bonus: the “lavish small plates” supplied by The Rattlesnake Club to accompany the wines.

A trade portion of the event for media and industry representatives will be held during the afternoon, followed by the evening public segment. Festivities run from 6-8:30 p.m. at The Rattlesnake Club, 300 River Place Dr. in Detroit. Tickets are $38 in advance or $45 at the door. Vintage Michigan members receive a $5 discount on tickets.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council’s website at MichiganWines.com. Online ticket sales close Sunday, April 19. After that, tickets will be sold at the door.

Cortney Casey is a certified sommelier and co-founder of MichiganByTheBottle.com, a website and online community that promotes the entire Michigan wine industry. She co-owns Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room in Shelby Township and Royal Oak. The joint offsite tasting rooms are offered in partnership with multiple Michigan wineries. Contact her at cort@michiganbythebottle.com.

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