Old Mission Wineries Get Seriously Green

Old Mission Wineries Get Seriously Green

Wineries of Old Mission implement complex pollution prevention practices.

The seven wineries on Old Mission peninsula have plenty of gold adorning their walls, but now have bragging rights about their green, too.

Governor Rick Snyder, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), and the Grand Traverse Conservation District in April recognized the group for becoming verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).

Through the complex verification process, the vineyards implemented voluntary and proactive pollution prevention practices.

“I’m proud of the proactive environmental steps these award-winning wineries and vineyards on Old Mission Peninsula have taken to become MAEAP verified,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “The actions of these growers speak to their voluntary commitment to responsible on-farm practices and its importance regardless of the location, size, or what commodity your farm produces.”

MAEAP is a collaborative effort of farmers, MDARD, Michigan Farm Bureau, commodity organizations, universities, conservation districts, conservation and environmental groups and state and federal agencies.

More than 100 local coordinators and technical service providers are available to assist farmers as they move through the MAEAP process toward verification. To date, more than 1,500 MAEAP verifications have been issued across the state.

“Having all these wineries and vineyards on Old Mission Peninsula verified is a great achievement,” said MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams. “MAEAP’s ability to implement safe farming practices on a variety of farming operations, such as vineyards, shows how strong of a program it is, and will be, for years to come.”

MAEAP is a multi-year program allowing producers to meet farm-specific goals. The program encompasses three systems designed to help producers evaluate the environmental risks of their operation.

Each system – livestock, farmstead, and cropping – examines a different aspect of a farm, as each has a different environmental impact. The program assists farmers to comply with state and federal environmental regulations and with Right to Farm practices.

Technical assistance at the vineyards was provided by the Grand Traverse Conservation District.

“Grand Traverse is a region rich in agricultural and natural beauty,” said Tree Sturman, executive director of the Grand Traverse Conservation District. “Through the MAEAP program, we have empowered our local vineyards to wed their business goals with their affection for the natural world. The wineries of the Old Mission Peninsula and their supplier vineyards exemplify this conservation ethic. These businesses are among the more than 100 MAEAP-verifications completed in our area, demonstrating that they are doing the right thing for the land they love by preserving its integrity for future generations.

The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula include 2 Lads Winery, Black Star Farms, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, Chateau Chantal, Chateau Grand Traverse, and Peninsula Cellars. The wineries have been recognized for their award-winning wines, including riesling, chardonnay, pinot grigio, pinot noir, merlot, gew├╝rztraminer, sparkling varieties and ice wines.

“The wineries on Old Mission peninsula are all MAEAP-verified farms demonstrating the importance each producer places upon operating in an environmentally responsible manner while embracing sustainable farming practices,” said Eddie O’Keefe, president of the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula.