As cherry trees around Northern Michigan begin to blossom, we are busy preparing to ship 360 cases of Traverse Bay Winery® Cherry Wine overseas to China. The shipment, which will leave the winery’s facilities today, May 12, marks the sixth commercial wine order that Chateau Grand Traverse has shipped to China in recent years as part of its ongoing export marketing program.
“China is a very competitive wine market and to have repeat orders is very encouraging,” stated Eddie O’Keefe, President of Chateau Grand Traverse. “Wineries from around the world are competing in this emerging market and we are finding a niche with our Cherry Wine since it is a unique and stand-alone product among the many wines being offered,” O’Keefe added.
In April 2014, CGT shipped its largest order, a full container of wine (660 cases) to China as the demand for the product continued to grow. With a growing demand overseas, the winery shipped another 300 cases in January 2015. “Based upon what we have been told from our export broker, the demand for our Cherry Wine product will continue to grow in the coming year and we will most likely expand our production significantly on this particular item.” O’Keefe explained.
Over the past two years, Chateau Grand Traverse has exported over 1,800 cases of its wine to China. With diminished grape harvests in 2014 and 2015, O’Keefe feels that this is a very timely opportunity to expand its Cherry Wine marketing efforts to offset some of its production losses. “Cherries were not affected by the weather as much as grapes and we are pleased that there is a healthy supply to meet our needs,” O’Keefe concluded.
Chateau Grand Traverse has been producing Cherry Wine on Old Mission Peninsula since the mid 1970’s, and it has consistently proved to be a popular and successful product. The Traverse Bay Winery® brand, released in 1991, also includes Cherry Riesling Wine, Cherry Wine Sangria, and Spiced Cherry Wine; all made with locally grown cherries. The Winery’s products are currently marketed in 10 states as well as for sale online with shipping licenses into 16 states, and counting. O’Keefe anticipates shipping full container-size orders of its Traverse Bay Winery® products to China by year end and looks forward to expanding its export volume to 10% of its annual production in the coming years.
This Michigan-made wine is available in major wine retailers, in the CGT Tasting Room, and online store.