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New Partnerships to Support Michigan Wine Industry

Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, The School of Hospitality Business, Michigan Wine Collaborative (MWC), and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announce a new partnership. Beginning this year, they will jointly plan and execute the annual Michigan Wine Competition.

The 2019 Michigan Wine Competition will be the 42nd annual wine competition, of which the last 18 years were hosted at the Kellogg Center. Unlike the early years, when wines were judged in an area near the aromatic livestock barns during the Michigan State Fair, the competition has evolved into a highly competitive and professional event held in ideal testing conditions at the Kellogg Center. The results are shared with the public at the annual and elaborate Gold Medal Reception, also held at the Kellogg Center.

The partners will continue this tradition. Specifically, students in an event management class at The School of Hospitality Business will plan and execute the competition and the reception.  The class will work closely with the Michigan Wine Collaborative and MDARD to ensure that the competition is as professional and rigorous as ever. Additionally, the class will work with the professional staff at the Kellogg Center to ensure that established standards for the competition and reception are maintained.

According to Carl Borchgrevink, Director of The School of Hospitality Business, “This cooperative approach will provide our students with a fabulous opportunity to apply and hone their skills and education through learning while doing.  We look forward to this opportunity and are delighted our students are able to participate in delivering this fabulous and important competition!” 

Joel Heberlein, Director of the Spartan Hospitality Group, expressed, “I am delighted that we are able to continue hosting the Michigan Wine Competition at Kellogg Center while supporting MSU students and the Michigan wine and agricultural community at large.  We are proud to play a role in MSU’s Land Grant Mission.”

The partners will use this opportunity to expand the scope of what this competition represents – it has always been an important tool for Michigan wineries to gauge the quality of their wines among their peers, and now it will be a vehicle for valuable education for future hospitality professionals.

“The Michigan Wine Collaborative is enthusiastic in its support of MSU and its new program for the Michigan Wine Competition,” said Dave Miller, MWC President. “This new program will introduce young adults to the Michigan wine industry, from a multitude of different backgrounds. The wine industry is more than just production of wine, and as the industry continues to grow, we will need people with strong backgrounds in many different fields of study. We are proud to assist in cultivating the next generation of Michigan wine enthusiasts, while hoping to retain these prospective employees in the state.”

The competition/judging will take place Tuesday, July 30, 2019 and the public event at which the winning wines can be tasted is on Thursday, August 8, 2019.  Both are held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, MI.

About the Partners:

  • The Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center opened its doors to the public as the first Kellogg Center for Continuing Education in 1951.  Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center is a business unit of Spartan Hospitality Group, a part of the Residential and Hospitality Services division (RHS) at Michigan State University. Visit rhs.msu.edu  for more information.
  • The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University was founded in 1927.  It is an industry-specific school within the Broad College of Business that has launched the careers of thousands of leaders in hospitality and service professions.  It is hailed as the original hospitality business school and ranked among the top hospitality programs nationally and globally. Visit hospitalitybusiness.broad.msu.edu/  for more information.
  • The Michigan Wine Collaborative is a non-profit organization with the mission to enhance the sustainability and profitability of the Michigan wine industry by supporting wineries, growers and other businesses and individuals connected to the industry – today and for future generations. Visit michiganwinecollaborative.com  for more information.

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