Winemakers in northern Michigan could soon be gracing the small screen in a new reality TV series to rival A&E’s Duck Dynasty.
‘Wine Warriors’, based on the exploits of winemakers at three wineries in Michigan’s Traverse City region, is currently being pitched to US TV networks, as reported by Detroit News.
It has been described as a light-hearted yet serious look at the region’s burgeoning winemaking industry with the aim of shining a spotlight on Michigan’s winemaking heritage, with the potential of raising the region’s winemaking credentials.
Gerry Vendittelli, one of the show’s four producers, told Detroit News: “We really just wanted to let the cameras roll and see what happens. “We want to catch the funny, serious and dramatic. The whole intention is to show everything from the vineyards to the bottling process and everything in between.”
Vineyards featured in the fledgling show including Chateau Chantal, Good Harbor Vineyards and Chateau de Leelanau, as well as contributions from Larry Mawby, owner of L. Mawby Vineyards.
On its website the show’s producers proclaim: “It can be a very bumpy road from grape to glass! And no one knows that better than the three northern Michigan winemaking families featured in the all new reality series WINE WARRIORS, currently in production.
“The breath taking beauty of Old Mission and Leelanau peninsula is the backdrop as the wineries battle the weather, pests, technology and sometimes even themselves, all with millions of dollars on the line.”
The entire production, including an eight-minute trailer promoting the show, has been funded by its four producers with Wine Warriors merchandise and a Wine Warriors app already in the making.
The Traverse City region is home to some 80 wineries and is best known for its Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio wines contributing $300 million to the state economy each year.
Linda Jones, executive director of the Michigan Wine Council, told Detroit News she thought that a show such as Wine Warriors could help the industry grow.
She said: “Any media exposure we can get outside the state is very valuable for the industry.
“We’re just now starting to push out beyond Michigan’s boundaries. There’s a lot of consumers who aren’t visiting Michigan right now and we want them to understand about our wine, as well.”