TRAVERSE CITY — Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Grand Traverse Conservation District recognized seven wineries and four vineyards on Old Mission Peninsula for all becoming verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. Through the 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,” Snyder said. “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, statewide more than 1,500 MAEAP verifications have been issued.
“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 Treenen 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 Old Mission Peninsula stretches north 19 miles into Grand Traverse Bay and is only four miles wide at the broadest point. 2 Lads Winery, Black Star Farms, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, Chateau Chantal, Chateau Grand Traverse, Peninsula Cellars, Lardie Orchards Inc., Manigold Farms, Montanã Rusa Farms Inc., and Ochs Orchard are in the Old Mission Peninsula. The area is surrounded by 600-foot deep water in East and West Grand Traverse Bays. Seven distinct wineries comprise this stunning appellation, and they have been well recognized by international wine enthusiasts. The Old Mission Peninsula has been recognized for its award winning wines: Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gewürztraminer, sparkling varieties and prestigious 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.