Print Friendly and PDF

Member of the Month: Detroit Vineyards Invests in the Community Through Educational Programming and Hosting Events

Editor’s note: The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Member of the Month designation recognizes a Chamber member working to improve their community in Southeast Michigan or grow the regional economy in alignment with the Chamber’s programs or policy agenda.

Detroit Vineyards was named the Detroit Regional Chamber’s member of the month for August because of their partnerships with local nonprofits, like The Greening of Detroit and Avalon Village, that create community spaces and educate Detroit residents around horticulture and grape harvesting. They currently operate a prototype space on Mack and Beaconsfield in the Morningside community.

Thomas Roberes, community affairs coordinator at Detroit Vineyards, mentioned that his organization makes an effort to do more projects in the communities in Detroit that don’t normally get press or publicity.

“We really want to involve residents in the process,” Roberes said. “By 2023, we expect to operate one of the largest urban vineyards in the world right in the Morningside community in Detroit. Our plan is to build the foundation for the space and then step back and allow the residents to take over.”

The vineyards started as an idea between two people with a love for horticulture and Detroit. Blake Kownacki and Thomas Roberes met in 2014 when Kownacki was developing a much smaller-scale vineyard in Detroit. The two found a real connection in wanting to give back to Southeast Michigan, where they both were born. They began working on small batch wine, and eventually their endeavors grew into the newly opened Detroit Vineyards near Eastern Market.

Detroit Vineyards’ brick-and-mortar space houses a full display of wines and meads. The space can be used as an event or meeting space by local businesses. They also host “Lyrics and Libations” on Wednesday nights for local poets and musicians as well as ballroom dancing classes open to the public every Tuesday night.

“We opened this space to be used by Detroit residents,” Roberes said. “Please contact the winery for reservations or visit our website for more information.”