Posts in Blog, Latest News Category

Michigan Gold Medal Reception 2014

2014 Michigan Wine Competition Best of Class
This year I was fortunate enough to be invited back to the Gold Medal Award Ceremony and Reception in East Lansing Michigan at the Kellogg Conference Center and Hotel, I was looking forward to this event all year! We had to head out from Metro-Detroit later than I would have liked and thus didn’t get to see the Award portion, I did however get to talk to the winemakers, many of whom are customers or friends of ours. I hoped to gain insight into how the industry trends are going here in Michigan. I was surprised at how many people were there this year, seemed to be even more of a buzz than the year before and after trying all of the Gold Medal wines, I know why!

To start off the evening, you get a packet of tickets that will be your currency for a splash of wine or a tasting, there are ways to get more of your favorite, just tell them double pour and drop two tickets. If you know you like a wine you should always do this to avoid having to wait in line again. I ran into a lot of my favorite wineries: 2Lads, Black Star Farms, Flying Otter, 45 North, and Lawton Ridge just to name a few. We started of with fruit wines (to get them out of the way) and then moved on to Gold and Silver winners. I will say this, Black Star Farms Acturos was simply amazing, deserving the award for the second year in a row undoubtedly, thanks Lee! Overall the wines were top-notch and so was the food and dessert stations, special pairing was done to ensure our pallets did not suffer 🙂

The event was run very smoothly and the wines were fantatstic. My overall favorites were both Chatea de Leelanau 2013 Cabernet Franc Rose, Black Star Farms 2012 Acturos Winter Harvest Riesling, and 45 North Vineyard & Winery Peach Cremant (mmmmmm so peachy).

I hope you have an opportunity to join us for this event one year, and sorry I forgot to take pictures… oooops! Well I do appreciate our wines in Michigan, they are some of the best and there is only more yet to be created (and consumed too)!

I wish I could remember more about them for this blog article but I took poor notes and my memory got worse and worse as the evening went on, go figure. Here is a list of winners.

  • Sparkling: Aurora Cellars 2011 Brut
  • Dry White: Blustone Vineyards 2013 Riesling
  • Dry Red: Peninsula Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc
  • Semi-dry White: Gill’s Pier Vineyard & Winery 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling
  • Semi-dry Red: Lawton Ridge Winery 2012 AZO Red
  • Dessert: Black Star Farms 2012 Arcturos Winter Harvest Riesling
  • Fruit: 45 North Vineyard & Winery Peach Cremant
  • Rosé: Chateau de Leelanau 2013 Cabernet Franc Rosé

View a complete list here.

Read about it on

Miwinebarrel is a proud supporter of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, visit their website to learn more about our amazing Michigan Wines.

Tuesday September 23rd, 2014
Posted in Blog, Latest News

Midwest Grape and Wine Conference 2014 – St. Charles MO

Returning home from another successful Midwest Grape and Wine Conference is a great feeling. This event is nestled in the heartland of America and is an untapped Gem for most winemakers. Of course there are the usual suspects there from all the exhibiting companies and sponsors but the real treat is the people who travel in from Missouri and neighboring states. While not as large scale as the East Coast shows the Midwest show is much more to the point. People are friendlier than anywhere (besides Michigan!) and the overall vibe is that of an busy and informative wine event. I have never been disappointed by the event and this year they even let in the Craft Brewers for a nice twist. This convergence of Craft Beer and Winemaking is great for exhibitors like us who have products that apply to both markets. I hope to see more creative ideas implemented in this show as the years pass, already since my first time (3 years ago) they have made significant changes that have improved the traffic flow, and overall experience. I was a little disappointed that we did not have a Wine Banquet this year, but keep reading and you will see why (they had two tasting events!).

I would like to say than you to everyone we met this year. The Tour de Vin and the Tour de Brew where top-notch and we made some great new friends. I will definitely be returning in 2015 and would suggest anyone in the Midwest who is interested in starting or growing there wine and or beermaking hobby should too. These trade shows may cater to the larger wineries but the trade show floor is full of exhibitors, like us, who work with the home winemakers and the the start up companies. Here is a list of must see exhibitors if you are stating up a brewery or winery in the near future. If you missed the Midwest show then you can catch most of the same (with a different lineup of speakers and classes) in Richmond, VA for Wineries Unlimited.

Josh’s Highly Suggested Industry Links:
Caraker Law Firm – Everything you need to know about Alcohol law, they will take care of it all, no headaches required.
Wine Stix / Beer Stix – A new “twist” on oak alternatives, use these for wine and beer making in stainless steel barrels or tanks. – The right glass for every occasion, talk to them about custom wine or beer glasses

And of course you know that we can take care of all your winemaking (and beer) barrels and tanks. We are currently improving our product offereing to include brewery equipment and supplies. Look for updates on this coming soon, and check out our products page to learn more. Not on the products page yet are the new stainless steel micron filters.

If you have any questions about these companies, or our products I am happy to talk, send me an email

Click to learn more about both the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference and Wineries Unlimited.

Wednesday February 12th, 2014
Posted in Blog, Latest News

Michigan Wine’s Gold Medal Reception… East Lansing…

2013 Best of Class Wines
Recently I was invited to attend the Gold Medal Reception for Michigan Wines. Being awarded this is a big deal in our state (Michigan wines are winning awards outside our state too! See this article about wine-making on the Leelanau Pennisula) so to be one of the elite in your home state is a honor. It was held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. The actual ceremony took place outside in the pavilion, a beautiful sunny day with a refreshing cool breeze calmed the crowd of some of the best winemakers and wine industry members in the state. I made sure to say hello to some familiar faces from Chateau Fontaine and Black Star Farms (Both award winners this year). My wife Jessi and I enjoyed the quiet conversation with our fellow wine lovers as we waited for the ceremony to begin. The rest of the ceremony went quiet quickly and smoothly, here are the results… extra congratulations goes out to Dan from Chateau Fontaine for winning two years in a row in the Pinot Blanc category.

  • Dry Red: Peninsula Cellars 2011 Cabernet Franc
  • Sparkling: Black Star Farms 2012 “BeDazzled”
  • Dessert: Brys Estate 2011 “Dry Ice” Riesling Ice Wine
  • Dry White: Chateau Fontaine 2012 Pinot Blanc
  • Semi-dry Red: Karma Vista Vineyards 2012 Devil’s Head Red
  • Semi-dry White: Boathouse Vineyards 2012 “Knot Too Sweet” Riesling

View the complete list of medal-winning wines!

Then we all made our way back into the hotel to Ballroom A for the receptions and the Wine (and food!). Everyone was supplied with a rather thick booklet of tickets to be used at all the various stations. From Fruit Wines to the Award Winners being paired with special dishes and desert wines being served with of course specially paired desserts, it was amazing. Michigan Wines really spared no expense in this evening, the line was out the door and by the time everyone (the winemakers and the general public who bought tickets) where in the room it was more or less a standing room only event.

Jessi and I started with some of our favorite wines, then quickly consumed a lot of the cheese and meat spread they had, super good way to get ready for a night of drinking. From here we made the rounds, the first stop where the award winning wines but we skipped the food. Soon we had dessert before dinner, then we ended up trying every single fruit wine. I have to say Michigan really makes some good grapes.

We made some new friends, shook some hands with customers and contacts and all-in-all had an excellent adventure to Lansing. I just love how the wine industry congregates for these awards and conferences etc. we have such a tremendous industry here with more great history to be made.

We are proud to be involved in the Michigan Wine Industry, we named ourselves “miwinebarrel” after all. I’m glad to see such a prosperous group of individuals making our economy better doing something that they love, making wine and growing grapes.

Thank you Linda Jones and everyone on the Michigan Wine Council, also thank you to everyone we met at the event. I hope you can read this and know Jessi and I as well as everyone here at miwinebarrel really appreciates being a part of all of this.

Here are some pics from the event, enjoy!

Check out this article on Midwest Wine Press about the Gold Medal Competition!

Friday August 23rd, 2013
Posted in Blog, Latest News
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