Living in Michigan my whole life, I was surprised to learn that there are multiple wineries a short drive across the border, in Ontario. It turns out, the soil, climate and latitude are about the same in Ontario as they are in northern California and the Bordeaux region of France, and Ontario is growing its wine scene as a result.
So if Ontario can do it, what’s stopping Detroit? Well, one potential vintner is asking that very question — why not Detroit?
The Detroit Free Press talked to a winemaker who wants to set up shop on Belle Isle. It’s pretty much a given that the city will nix that idea, but what about elsewhere in the city? Much of the abandoned land has been set up to be urban gardens or farms — I myself have had a plot in an urban garden for the past two summers.
A winery would also offer something that a garden really couldn’t — tourism. My girlfriend and I brought our lunches on a day trip to several Ontario wineries last summer, but there was still toll and gas money spent in Canada — as well as the bottles of wine we brought home. (This picture is from that trip.) And there was plenty of pamphlets at the wineries for weekend-long winery tours, which would include hotel, meal and other spending, if you were so inclined.
It seems that if it’s done right, it could be a significant boost to the economy.
What do you think? Should Detroit explore the idea of becoming the Winery City? Do you think it would help the economy?
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