PROOS: Celebrating Michigan wine, craft beverage industries

Published 8:16 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Winemaking is a thriving industry in Michigan — with wine production in our state more than doubling over the last 10 years. In 2017, Michigan’s 140 wine producers made over 2.7 million gallons of wine and welcomed 1.7 million tourists.

According to a recent study, Michigan’s wine industry has a $5.4 billion economic impact on the state, including attracting $253 million in tourism spending and supporting over 47,000 jobs.

To honor Michigan’s growing wine industry, its wide selection of quality wines and significant contribution to the economy, Gov. Rick Snyder proclaimed May as “Michigan Wine Month.”

I encourage Southwest Michigan residents to support our local vineyards by visiting a winery and seeing their impact on our economy.

Information about more than 20 area wineries and tasting rooms is available online at The website includes details about area wineries, information on upcoming events and a map of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail.

The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council has done a tremendous job with helping support our thriving wine industry, and legislation on its way to the governor would help ensure the council can bring that success to Michigan’s up-and-coming craft beverage industry.

Michigan microbreweries, small distillers and brewpubs currently pay the license and renewal fees that fund the council. Senate Bill 440 and House Bill 4667 would ensure that everyone who helps fund the council has a seat at the table and benefits from its work.

The bills would rename the council the “Michigan Craft Beverage Council” and expand its membership.

By providing more equal representation and membership on the council, we can ensure that it is best positioned to promote and support entrepreneurial Southwest Michigan craft beverage producers, who are creating jobs right here at home.

If you enjoy having a glass of Michigan-made wine or craft beverage, have fun and drink responsibly.

JOHN PROOS, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties.