Episode: 10 From Corporate America
To Wine Making Wonders
Dear Listeners, May is Michigan Wine Month. Did you know the Michigan Wine Industry accounts for 47,299 jobs, $5.4 Billion in total economic impact, and $1.8 in employee wages?* Wow! Consumers are thirsty for wines grown amongst the Great Lakes.
To celebrate Michigan Wine Month, our gift to you, dear listeners, is an interview with Luke and Faye Pickelman, lifelong Michiganders who left corporate American to pursue their dreams. Luke and Faye purchased land for a vineyard in 2011 and released their first vintage in 2016. The fruits of their labor is Soul Squeeze Cellars, a boutique winery located on Lake Leelanau. Soul Squeeze offers a wide variety of wines and ciders. At their in Northern Michigan, they provide a modern tasting room and education with each sip.
Luke shares, “It was a dream of ours. When the opportunity arose to purchase our first tract of land, we jumped on it. We started farming while we were still working. I was driving back to Lansing every week as a lawyer for the first few years.”
With them being new to the Michigan wine scene, we thought you find value in their story. We “squeezed” as much information as we could into this interview. Listeners will hear about:
- The pride Luke and Faye take in educating tasting room guests on the farming process.
- Why they chose Lake Leelanau as their desired location.
- The “Soul Squeezing process” to create the brand Soul Squeeze Cellars.
- Following their dreams to create a new path for their family.
Faye shares with Will how she fell in love with the process of winemaking in Italy and attended the University of California, Davis, to further her education. “It’s almost a little miracle. The whole process from tending to the vines and the locations of the planting to enjoying that bottle of wine at your dinner time.”
* Michigan Wine Collaborative