Fenn Valley Vineyards
On September 9th, a group of friends (Charlotte Fung, Renee Swartz, and Anthony Dilernia), and I travelled to Fennville, MI to tour Fenn Valley Vineyards. For the tour, our guide was Todd, who is a graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in horticulture. Besides being a tour guide at Fenn Valley, Todd is also the Vineyard Manager, his job responsibilities are trying to get the highest quality grape, obtain the highest grape yield given the limitation during the growing season and try to improve the leaf to grape ratio.
About Fenn Valley
Fenn Valley is a 43-year-old vineyard that operates on a 240-acre farm. Even though it has 240 acres only 83 acres are currently cultivated. The manager mention that the vineyard could possibly expand another 5 acres if needed, but after that, all the land has been used. Because Fenn valley has reached capacity on their farm, they are receiving grapes from three other farms in South West Michigan through contracts. Contract are agreements between wineries and grape growers. Everything in these contracts are laid out: the number of years they will be doing business together, the price & quantity of fruit produced each year, the manner in which the grapes are grown, and who will be doing actual work. (the farmer, the winery, a vineyard management firm) An interesting fact given on the tour about these contacts is that each party involved is require either to give a three-year notice before ending the