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Could Fortified Wines Be Michigan’s Answer to Climate Change?


Michigan, a state known as the car capital of the world, has in recent years focused on promoting itself as an up-and-coming American wine region. Michigan Wine Collaborative , a non-profit organization focused on pushing Michigan wines forward, produced its inaugural Judgment of Michigan in 2021 — a Michigan-only wine competition to promote the state’s wines.

And the state’s winemakers are stepping up to the plate. While Michigan has in the past been primarily known for its sweet wines, viticulturalists from the Great Lakes State have branched out and explored diverse styles of wine.

One area where Michigan is thriving is in fortified wines. These wines, to which spirits are added during the fermentation process, are higher in alcohol and residual sugar — thus resulting in sweeter, boozier expressions. And as demand for these wines is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, increased production of fortified wines could spell growth for the Michigan wine industry as a whole.

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That’s because, as global temperatures continue to rise and snow cover decreases in Michigan and other cool-climate regions, there is a growing […]

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