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Bacchus Society

The Bacchus Society at MCCC


Setting Root for a Wine Renaissance The Bacchus Society of Monroe County Community College aspires to reestablish a once flourishing industry near the banks of the River Raisin. The grape and wine industry was once woven into the the very fabric of our community. Through our bright and talented culinary students, we hope to reclaim the cultural heritage set forth by our community forebearers.

V1300 is a pilot Vineyard established by the Bacchus Society on the main campus of Monroe County Community College. Over the next several years, MCCC intends to add numerous varieties of whites and reds to its V1300 vineyard. The Bacchus Society plans to produce wine from V1300 in time for the MCCC 50th anniversary in 2014. More importantly, the Bacchus Society intends to support the development of a Certificate Program in Enology and Viticulture at MCCC
1300 Vineyard
VineyardMonroe: Birthplace of Michigan's Wine Industry
Joseph M. Sterling - early Monroe pioneer and the father of Michigan's wine industry - planted the first vineyard in the Monroe region in 1863. He was also the first to produce commercial wine in Michigan under the Pointe Aux Peaux Wine Company of Monroe in 1868. Likely drawn to the region by the wild grapes that cascaded into the River Raisin, Sterling and his partners grew their enterprise to process 69,000 pounds of grapes by 1871 and produce 5,000 gallons of award winning and critically acclaimed wine. By 1884, Monroe was in the midst of a golden age of winemaking. More than 20 vineyards on nearly 200 acres of land grew 600,000 pounds of grapes and churned out over 12,000 gallons of wine - some vintages considered to be on par with the fine wines of France. At its peak, over 1,000 acres of grapevines were cultivated in Monroe. Sadly, the eventual deaths of Monroe's early wine pioneers, grape rot and the subsequent onset of Prohibition prematurely ended our region's renowned reputation for fine wine and thriving vineyards.(2009-2010 Michigan Wine Industry Research, State of Michigan, Department of Agriculture) The Bacchus Society aims to restore this near forgotten heritage once again to prominence in our community.
V1300 Map

Donate TodayBecome an Annual Member:
For a minimum donation of $25 you can become an annual Bacchus Society member. Your donation, at whatever level, is tax deductible and will be used to benefit the V1300 vineyard. With the support, you will help plant the seeds for a promising new eductional, cultural, and economic enterprise in Monroe County.