Wine Industry Succeeds In Recession-Weary Michigan

Michigan wineries
Michigan wineries

By John Flesher

LAKE LEELANAU, Mich. (AP) -- A state thirsting for good economic news is toasting the success of an up-and-coming industry: winemaking.

Vineyards and tasting rooms are springing up rapidly in Michigan, where fertile hillsides near the Great Lakes provide ideal settings for cool-weather varieties such as riesling, pinot grigio and chardonnay. Grape growing and wine making still have only a fraction of the muscle wielded by the automobile industry, but their success is striking given the economic downturn, which hit Michigan years before the rest of the nation.