Michigan wine tourism research articles new to MSU Grapes web

Research findings on Michigan wine tasting rooms reveal better understanding of increasing wine tourists and enhancing their experience.

Photo credit: lpwines, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo credit: lpwines, Flickr Creative Commons

Wineries play an active role in agri-tourism. Wine tours, dinners with pairings and collaborations with other local businesses along wine trails are all part of the structure that can draw tourists to an area. The Northern Grapes Project, along with Michigan State University, conducted research to gain a better understanding of how to increase the number of tourists coming to wineries and how to enhance their experience.

The option of cold-hardy, Vitis riparia-based wine grape cultivars in the 1990s created a new and rapidly expanding industry of small vineyard and wineries in the northern United States. Funded in 2011 by the USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, the Northern Grapes Project develops grape production, winemaking and marketing practices suited to the unique characteristics of the V. riparia-based cultivars marketed through retail tasting rooms and their niche in the U.S. wine market.

As part of this effort, MSU professors Don Holecek and Dan McCole began their Michigan wine tasting room research in 2012, focusing on different aspects of wine tourism. Details of the research and their findings were first published in the Northern Grapes News and now added to the MSU Growing Grapes for Juice and Wine website. The five different studies can be found under the Wine Tourism page, and are as follows:

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