Midwestern States Announce Wine-Trail Trail

Five neighboring states in the Midwest announced a new tourism initiative yesterday that makes it easier to experience all 43 “wine trails” within their borders.

Over the last five years, individual state tourism offices have marketed related destinations as themed “trails.” Indiana has its Garfield Trail and Hoosier Pie Trail, Ohio its Shawshank Trail, Kentucky its Civil War Heritage Trail. And every state has a medley of regional wine trails, identifying dozens of tiny, undistinguished backroad wineries.

That’s great for wine-lovers, but enthusiasts of wine-related tourism trails are left to locate each self-guided route individually. “It’s amazing that these programs have become so popular – a tourism trail is nothing but a website and a brochure at the visitors center,” says Jeff Langley, a spokesman for the newly created Midwestern Wine-Trail Trail Association. “But people love them, and we are committed to helping them locate the area’s absurd number of these loosely organized experiences.”

The Midwestern Wine-Trail Trail website identifies five collections of wineries in Ohio, six in Indiana, eight in Kentucky, 10 in Illinois and 14 in Michigan. Together they represent 258 individual wineries, including a handful of regional-award winners.

However, Langley says most of those businesses won’t see a bump in traffic thanks to this innovative tourism effort. “This is about recognizing the trails as an attraction and asset, not the wineries themselves,” he says.

Langley says an Amish Quilt Garden-Trail Trail is also in the works.

[Photo credit: Fosmiling via Flickr]