Winery Development Conference 2019
(Pre-registration by March 1, 2019 is required.)

Thursday, March 7, 2019
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, Michigan State University
219 S Harrison Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824

Fee: $90 per person. Includes refreshments, and multi-ethnic lunch at the Brody Cafeteria located across the street. (Dress for the walking!) Cancellations received on or after Feb. 8 will incur a $50 cancellation fee.

This conference is targeted to individuals who are considering starting a winery or hard cider business with topics relating to industry trends, fruit-growing regions, business planning, regulatory considerations, available resources and owner experiences.

10 - 10:05 a.m.

Welcome: Joanne Davidhizar, MSU Extension and Product Center

10:05 - 11 a.m.

Michigan’s fruit-growing Regions - Find out why and how Michigan is well-suited to growing different grapes and fruit. Ron Perry, Michigan State University Department of Horticulture and Thomas Todaro, MSU Extension 

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Business Planning – Cost and finance considerations for starting a small Michigan winery or hard cider operation. Cristin Hosmer, Owner, AlcheMae, Wine and Craft Beverage Consulting 

Licensing requirements for Michigan wineries – The process for obtaining a winery license is reviewed.  David Marvin, Deputy Director of Licensing Division, Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) 

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Lunch (Brody Cafeteria-across Harrison Street)

1:30 - 1:50 p.m.

Winery owner panel: What did we do right? What would I advise a start-up? Cristin Hosmer, 1855 Project, others, TBD 

1:50 - 2:05 p.m.

Getting your wines to your customers - Karel Bush, Executive Director, Michigan Craft Beverage Council

Direct-to-consumer sales, self-distribution and using wholesalers.  

2:05 - 2:45 p.m.

Local Zoning Requirements – Harmony Gmazel, Government & Public Policy Educator, MSU Extension

Important local land use considerations prospective winery owners should know.  

2:45 - 3:05 p.m.

Winery Wastewater Management - Mitch Reed, Environmental Engineer, Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

Overview of the DEQ requirements, flow chart, and guidance document for a winery wastewater system.  

3:05 - 3:20 p.m.

ResourcesThomas Todaro and Joanne Davidhizar, Extension Educators, MSU Extension

3:20 - 3:30 p.m.

Wrap-up and evaluation 

Sponsored by the Michigan Craft Beverage Council, the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, and Michigan State University

Lodging is available in the Kellogg Center Hotel 800-875-5090 through February 6, 2019. Use code:  1903WINECO

Download Event Flyer

Winery Development Conference 2019

Registration for Winery Development Conference 2019 is open.
Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on March 1, 2019.

There are 40 openings available.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For information contact Joanne Davidhizar at or at 269-927-5674, or Thomas Todaro at or 231-256-9888.