vineyards http://michiganradio.org en Making Michigan wine with cheaper solar energy http://michiganradio.org/post/making-michigan-wine-cheaper-solar-energy <p>Crain Hill Vineyards in Leelanau County is touted as the first in Michigan to run 100% on solar power, and a start-up energy business sees an opportunity for homes and farms because of the steep price drops to install solar in the last year.</p><p>Robert Brengman owns Crain Hill Vineyards with his two brothers. He says it’s been a goal from the beginning to tread lightly in this place.</p><p>“We’re looking at having a zero carbon footprint on this vineyard, in this winery. I mean that to me is exciting,” Bregnman said. “I think it’s a little part. And we’re trying to do our part of keeping this beautiful area the way it is.”</p><p>They won’t be buying electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. There are three new solar arrays mounted on steel poles on a south facing slope that are within sight of the winery’s tasting room.</p><p>Tom Gallery designed the system for Crain Hill and says the arrays are built to gather as much sunlight as possible. Tue, 03 Sep 2013 12:55:00 +0000 Bob Allen 14234 at http://michiganradio.org Making Michigan wine with cheaper solar energy Michigan winemakers experiment to get the most out of their grapes http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-winemakers-experiment-get-most-out-their-grapes <p>Michigan winemakers are exploring a variety of options to get the most out of their crops. They’re experimenting with growing hardier grapes to handle whatever curve balls Mother Nature throws.<br><br>Michigan is now the eighth largest wine grape growing state. The grapes we grow really have to like Michigan weather, no matter what happens. Right now we’ve got room to improve.<br> Tue, 02 Apr 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 11963 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan winemakers experiment to get the most out of their grapes Michigan wine: Success in a bottle http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-wine-success-bottle <p>As we continue our &ldquo;What&rsquo;s Working&rdquo; series this week, Christina Shockley sits down to speak with Linda Jones, the Executive Director of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. Over the past decade, the wine industry in Michigan has grown ten to fifteen percent each year, with most of the wine being produced in the southwest and northwest regions of the Lower Peninsula.</p><p>With 14,600 acres of vineyards, Michigan ranks fourth amongst all states in grape production. Most of these grapes are used to make juices, but about 2,000 acres of vineyards are devoted solely to wine grape production, making Michigan the eighth largest producer of wine grapes. Ms. Jones says that when we talk about Michigan&rsquo;s wine industry, we are really talking about the grape industry as well.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re an integrated function. Many of the wineries in Michigan grow their own fruit. And our program is housed in the Michigan Department of Agriculture because wine is really an exemplary industry for value-added agriculture, meaning you take a crop that is grown here in Michigan and you add value to it on the farm property and attract customers to come and visit you, and that translates into a huge economic boom for that area when you can do that.&rdquo;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>In a state that has seen its industries and population decline in the past decade, Michigan&rsquo;s wine industry has continued to grow steadily. Jones says this is because wine production incorporates two of Michigan&rsquo;s strongest assets.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;It combines our second and third largest industries: agriculture and tourism. Michigan is a long-standing fruit-producing state, especially on the west side of the state, but increasingly throughout Michigan we are planting wine grapes with new varieties that are being developed.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>But Michigan isn&rsquo;t just good at growing fruit because we&rsquo;ve been doing it for centuries. The climate in Michigan is particularly well-suited for growing grapes, says Jones. Mon, 28 Mar 2011 10:15:26 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom & What's Working 1792 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan wine: Success in a bottle