From the Ann Arbor Chronicle, writer Joel Goldberg interviews Marlena Studer, the woman behind the wine inspired by our departed coach Schembechler: Bo Merlot. I haven’t tried it but the price keeps dropping at the local store. As soon as it hits $12 I’m all over it.
Check out the whole interview here. One criticism I’ve heard is that it wasn’t made from Michigan grapes, Studer explains:
JG: As someone who runs a website about Michigan wine, I have to ask why Bo Merlot comes from California.
MS: I researched getting Michigan wine for our Bo Merlot, but there’s limited juice available. I’m expecting we’ll bottle about 3,000 cases of Merlot this year and probably about 2,000 of the Sauvignon Blanc. Michigan couldn’t come close to that quantity and quality for us to sell at the price point we need to sell it. Down the line we might be able to bottle a Michigan wine, for a smaller production.
This was also Cathy’s choice. Cathy and Bo loved California wine; they spent a lot of time going to vineyards in California, and Bo was all about the Rose Bowl; it was California!
We expect that this year the wine will be bottled in Michigan. I’m in process of applying for a license; that makes it not only a project that’s about a Michigan hero, but also being able to give back to Michigan in another way. When we bottle here, we’re bringing more income into the state.
JG: You couldn’t have had a worse football season to launch the wine. Do you think that hurt?
MS: There would have been a lot more celebrating, let’s just say, if we had a good season. And maybe there would have been a reason to buy a lot more wine to celebrate with.