Grape to Glass in Northern Michigan with the Wine Warriors


The Wine Warriors reality TV show is holding a Kick-off Reception this Thursday (June 12) at Kirkbride Hall at the Grand Traverse Commons. Read on for the details, information and a great video from the show that follows the trials and tribulations of winemakers & staff at Chateau Chantal, Good Harbor Vineyards and Chateau de Leelanau, along with appearances by Larry Mawby.

Wine-Warriors-TV-ShowGerry Vendittelli of Red & White Entertainment is an executive producer of Wine Warriors and explains, “We’re big fans of Traverse City and have been coming up every fall for years. Like many people, we spend time at the tasting bars. We realized that we were hearing the same questions over and over: ‘Do you grow your own grapes?’, ‘How does the weather affect you?’, ‘How do you make your wine taste so good?’  With that kind of interest, we knew that there was a show in there.”

They started on the project last summer and over the past 12 months they have identified winemakers, refined the concept, shot a lot of footage and put together one of the key components to sell the show, the “Sizzle Reel” that you can see below.

Sam Simpson of Good Harbor Vineyards

Sam Simpson of Good Harbor Vineyards

The show’s motto is “It’s a bumpy road from grape to glass” – something that anyone who’s spent much time in the wine business can attest to. Gerry says, “That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned from making the show – how hard these people work. There’s so much that goes into it, and I think people will be surprised by what they have to struggle with every day. It’s not just crushing grapes and putting some bottles on the shelf. There’s critters, machinery and weather, and then you have to make the wine, manage all kinds of staff and get out there and sell your product.”

The Wine Warriors team has had their own bumpy road. “It’s our first journey into reality TV, and we’ve learned a ton,” Gerry says. “When we got started, we thought it would be a much quicker process, but it’s been very time consuming. There’s a lot of shows out there and it takes a lot of work to find the right channel for our show. We’re in good shape now though – working an agent who understands the business and in the back and forth process of finding the right cable channel for the show.”

Mark Johnson & Brian Hosmer of Chateau Chantal

Mark Johnson & Brian Hosmer of Chateau Chantal

You’ll be able to celebrate with the cast & crew on Thursday at 6 PM in the newly renovated Kirkbride Hall at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. They will be pouring their own “Wine Warriors” wine along with hors d’oeuvres from Pepe Nero, Bay Town Kitchen, Pleasanton Bakery, Boss Mouse Cheese and Idyll Farms, live music from the Matthew Mansfield Band and artwork by 12 artists from the Artcenter Traverse City. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Father Fred Foundation. You can get tickets at the door are $30 or order online for $25 – get details & tickets at

One of the stars of the show is winemaker Larry Mawby, owner of L Mawby winery. As in real life, Larry fills the role of wise elder on Wine Warriors. He says, “The fact that there is interest in doing a show about area wineries, the people and the ‘drama’ is an indication of how grapegrowing and winemaking has become a part of our local culture. A new, and still somewhat mysterious part: but something that seems enduring enough that people want to know more about it. Obviously, the ‘reality’ show format is not really real, and more entertaining than informative .. but, still.”

See how entertaining in the video below and on Thursday!

Wine Warriors "Trailer" from Wine Warriors on Vimeo.