Traverse City, Mich.
L. Mawby is among the wineries and vineyards hosting visitors July 16 during a pre-conference tour of the wine country near Traverse City, Mich.
—There are times when making wine should be taken very seriously. Attending conferences such as the ASEV-Eastern Section
meeting described below is one way grapegrowers and winemakers can learn more about new techniques to grow and make quality wine—a most important part of the whole wine business.
This year, the ASEV-Eastern Section conference and symposium will be held July 16-19 in Traverse City, Mich. The July 16 pre-conference tour will visit vineyards and wineries on the Leelanau Peninsula and include Bel Lago Vineyard and Winery
, Black Star Farms
, Chateau Fontaine
, L. Mawby
and Shady Lane Cellars
. Two days of technical sessions and student papers will be followed by the International Symposium on Sparkling Wine Production on July 19.
The Symposium will feature speakers from California, Michigan and Washington state, England and France, including:
• Dr. Alain Carboneau, professor of viticulture at Montpellier SupAgro in Montpellier, France, “Canopy management for cool climate sparkling wine production”
• Dr. Russell Smithyman, director of viticulture at Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
in Woodinville, Wash., “Sparkling wine production in the Pacific Northwest”
• Dr. Nick Dokoozlian, vice president of viticulture, chemistry and enology at E. & J. Gallo
in Modesto, Calif., “New perspectives on the impact of vine balance on grape and wine flavor development”
• Winemaker David Munksgard from Iron Horse Vineyards
in Sebastopol, Calif., and Larry Mawby, president of L. Mawby in Suttons Bay, Mich., “Winemaking processes to meet your sparkling goals”
• Dr. Belinda Kemp, wine lecturer and research coordinator at Plumpton College Wine Centre in East Sussex, England, “English sparkling wine research and press fraction composition of sparkling must and base wine”
This conference is not all work and no play. The pre-conference tour is an opportunity to interact both with other growers and winemakers and also with professors who can provide a different perspective on issues confronting vineyards and/or wineries. And the night of July 17, viticulture and enology students will compete in the second annual “Oenolympics.” Dr. Anna Katharine Mansfield will again be the mistress of ceremonies, and SNL hopefuls Hans Walter-Peterson and Fritz Westover will entertain attendees while the teams undertake different wine-related challenging tasks. In 2011, those tasks included such feats as uncorking wine bottles with non-traditional uncorking implements, siphoning wine from a jug to six bottles and then corking the bottles, and spitting wine accurately into a pitcher with each successive team member moving farther away from the pitcher.
More information about the ASEV-ES meeting is available at asev-es.org
The lighter side of wine
The fact that the Eastern Section meeting is held in different wine regions across the East and Midwest allows attendees to see other wineries as they travel to the conference site. Where do you start when you want to hit the best, the most innovative, most creative of wineries? I called several friends in the Michigan wine industry and asked them where I should visit. The very first winery mentioned, other than to be sure to come to see the winery where she is the winemaker, was one I had never heard of: Karma Vista Vineyards & Winery
in Coloma, Mich.
Joe and Sue Herman represent the latest in 150 years and six generations of Hermans to grow fruit in and around the hills of southwest Michigan. It’s clear from their labels, the rock and roll quotes and the website design that the Hermans’ attitude is that wine should be fun and enjoyed without nearly as many rules as some people try to impose.
Read Joe Herman's spirited blog including a poem that answers the eternal question: “What Wine Should I Serve With…” at karmavista.com