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Let's be real—some days of work are just better than others. Afternoons at Brys Estate Vineyards tend to fall into that "better days" realm...Lucky for me, that was my Friday.
I happily volunteered to make the drive up the peninsula, where the Northern Michigan wine guys and gals met to honor the Old Mission Wine Trail. This year, all seven wineries achieved the MAEAP verification, a three-step process including educational seminar, on-farm assessment, and proactive planning for environmental risks. (MAEAP = Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program)
We gathered behind the tasting room, a mini warehouse lined with tall stainless steal vats. The air smelled sweet and the smiles in the room agreed this was a "better day" for them too. The chatter was loud and cheerful, bouncing off the vat cylinders when Governor Snyder entered the room.
"I don't get to say this often—this is a fun event!" the Governor began. "I was here on the peninsula for dinner at somebody's house and we sat on the back porch and had a glass of Michigan wine. And you could look out and you saw vineyards, followed by cherry trees, followed by the bay. And you stop and think about that moment— Is there anything in California, in Italy, or any other place in the world that can match up with that? And the answer is no. And you should be so proud to be here. But you're not just being here. You're making a difference here."
The vintners and attendees all listened intently, heads nodding, recalling that same familiar scene of living in Northern Michigan.
"It's really making a statement to say its not just about being in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It's about saying How do we protect that, How do we enhance that, and How do we make it productive so it can have value for generations. And that's what this is all about."
In addition to Governor Snyder, the presenters included legislators and agricultural and environmental partners of MAEAP, all pleased to honor the vineyards on the sunny spring day.
Till then, Cheers!
Above: Governor Snyder standing with the certified vintners of 2 Lads Winery, Chateau Chantal, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, Chateau Grand Traverse, Peninsula Cellars and Black Star Farms.