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Wine tasting rooms struggling to keep up with high tourism traffic in Traverse City

Kelsey Knight

Despite the high cost of fuel, tourism has not slowed down in Traverse City and some travel experiences may have a little less wine than dine.

Amanda Danielson describes tourism in Traverse City this summer as being quote “wild” and “fantastic.” She’s a sommelier and wine consultant in Traverse City.

And even though most of the wine is produced and bottled locally, tasting rooms are having a tough time keeping up.

"The wineries are selling everything they're making," said Danielson. "So, there is not a lot of wine, I mean this the supply is not meeting the demand."

Danielson says some vineyards are bringing in grapes from out of state, which is a common practice in the industry.

"But as far as what's currently being made, the short answer is not enough. Because it's all being sold. That includes like some of the big bulk wine, all at all levels," Daniels mentioned. "So it's not just those high-end wines."

According to Pure Michigan, the state has roughly 13,000 vineyard acres, which is not a lot compared to other vineyard heavy states.

But Danielson says land is being snatched up by out-of-state producers looking to take advantage of the “forever freshwater” of the Great Lakes.

Rick Brewer has been news director at WCMU since February 2024.