Winemakers pressing for new grape varieties

Capital News Service
LANSING — As wine grape growers prepare for what many hope will be another strong season, some members of the industry also hope that this year’s crop will reflect innovation. Experiments with new grape varieties have been underway since 2007 at Michigan State University’s Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center in Traverse City. This year, some growers expect to see the first production of wines from at least two varieties of red grapes that are new to the state — teroldego and lagrein. They’re among a few dozen tested during the past few years in an effort to diversify the wine produced in Michigan, particularly reds. Michigan reds have been a weak point in the eyes of judges and critics, said Lee Lutes, a winemaker and general manager of Black Star Farm winery in Suttons Bay.