We finally did so by partnering with six Michigan wineries — Chateau Aeronautique, Chateau de Leelanau, Domaine Berrien Cellars, Gill's Pier, Peninsula Cellars and Sandhill Crane Vineyards — to create the state's first joint off-site tasting room for wineries that were previously unaffiliated.
Our goal was to introduce products from several wineries — representing multiple regions/wine trails and all using their own estate-grown and/or locally sourced grapes — to the Metro Detroit market in a tasting room atmosphere. We've long complained that we were living in the "black hole" of Michigan wine, and we saw this as a way to start remedying that.
It didn't take us long to realize there was a similar demand for a format like ours in Oakland County, our neighbor to the west. That prompted us to begin looking for a suitable space out that way earlier this summer, and we finally found what we think will be a great fit for us: 29932 Woodward Ave., near Webster, in Royal Oak.
Hooray! So, when is this all going down?
Due to the licensing nuances involved, the Shelby Township location was in the works for quite a while before we actually opened our doors. Now that that format has already been approved once, we're hoping for a bit smoother sailing this time around! However, we must stress that this location is pending all necessary sign-offs from the city and state. Once those are in place, we also need to build out the space to accommodate a tasting room (it's pretty much a blank slate at this point), so we have a lengthy road ahead of us. We're tentatively targeting early summer 2014 for our opening, but it's all very nebulous until all of the approvals are finalized.
We will be partnering with EIGHT wineries as this larger location!
They are our original Shelby Township six:
• Chateau Aeronautique
• Chateau de Leelanau
• Domaine Berrien Cellars
• Gill's Pier
• Peninsula Cellars
• Sandhill Crane Vineyards
• 2 Lads Winery
• Verterra Winery
What will happen to the Shelby Township tasting room?
It'll keep on humming along! We've been loving our location near Hall Road, in close proximity to Sherwood Brewing Co. and the new Buddy's Pizza. We've had a blast introducing our six partner wineries' wines to Metro Detroit, and also enjoyed teaming up with other local small businesses and pairing wine with with various Michigan-made products. We appreciate everyone's support and look forward to continued success at this store!
It'll keep on as it has been: promoting the ENTIRE Michigan wine industry. We remain committed to keeping the tasting room and the main website separate, without any change in enthusiasm or focus. Over the past year, we've taken great pains to remain unbiased and free of any favoritism in our coverage on MichiganByTheBottle.com. Though we've linked up with our partner wineries for the tasting rooms based on our business model and other criteria, it doesn't mean we don't love all of the other wineries in the state! So we'll keep on with video podcasts, video features, articles, contests, etc. covering the entire spectrum of Michigan wine on MichiganByTheBottle.com.
I've never been to the Shelby location — what is MBTB Tasting Room like?
We have nearly 40 wines from our six partner wineries available for tasting at the Shelby Township site. We do our tastings all in flights (series of wines), and also offer Michigan-made cheese, chocolate and other snacks. We serve all of the wine in full-size Riedel crystal stemware to make the most of your experience. (To view our menu, click here.) We also host tons of fun events, from "Meet the Winemaker" nights to food/wine pairings to yoga and wine. (To view our event listing, click here.)
We've been very fortunate to receive some great media coverage. If you're interested, here are a few links:
• Michigan By The Bottle Changes Wine Tasting in Metro Detroit (B4BConnect)
• Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room Opens in Macomb Township (Detroit News)
• "Sip Michigan Wines at New Tasting Room in Metro Detroit" (Detroit Moxie)
• "Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room Grand Opening" (Midwest Wine Press)
• "Macomb Couple opens Michigan Wine Tasting Room" (The Voice Newspapers)
• "Michigan By The Bottle, By the Glass" (Intox Report)
How can I stay up to date on what's up with MBTB Tasting Room?
We have a separate website and social media presence for the tasting room. Take a peek at...
• Website: MBTBTasting.com
• Facebook: Facebook.com/mbtbtasting
• Twitter: Twitter.com/mbtbtasting
• Instagram: Instagram.com/mbtbtasting
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. (Official press releases and fact sheets will be available following state/city approvals of the project.)