Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Deborah Che

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Ulin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


As many tourists find their way to the shorelines of Michigan every summer, Southwest Michigan's fruit belt has begun to draw- visitors inland. Wine tourism has emerged as a new form of tourism. The vineyards in Southwest Michigan, depending on these visitors as their main customer market, therefore formed a wine route, connecting them and creating a wine region feel for tourists. In doing so, the wineries hope to establish a recognized wine region and sell their wines nationwide.

This study is based on semi-structured interviews conducted with General Managers and Marketing Officials of each of the vineyards. Based on literature reports from well-known wine regions (i.e. Europe, Australia) and their marketing concepts, the information gained from the interviews was analyzed with regard to existing horizontal and vertical alliances and the possibilities of expanding them.

Southwest Michigan's wineries have formed a strong horizontal relationship, working and advertising jointly as part of the wine trail. Vertically, the larger vineyards have formed stronger alliances than the smaller ones. However, all of Southwest Michigan's wineries underestimate and overlook the regional market as a target.

Included in

Geography Commons