Now retired, Don Coe sees bright future for Michigan winemaking

Jan 5, 2016

Don Coe founded Black Star Farms near Suttons Bay in 1998.
Credit Black Star Farms

Don Coe helped commercialize northern Michigan’s wine industry. He founded Black Star Farms near Suttons Bay 17 years ago.

Coe retired last month and turned Black Star Farms over to his business partner, Kerm Campbell.

In 2005, Coe led a legal fight to give wineries the right to ship their products directly across state lines. The Supreme Court upheld that right in a 5-4 decision.

Coe says Michigan’s wine industry has matured over the last 17 years and he sees more growth on the horizon as a new generation of winemakers takes over.

At age 75, Coe says it was time for him to retire - making good on a promise to spend more time with his wife, Marylou.

Coe spoke with IPR's Aaron Selbig about the current state of the Michigan wine industry and what he sees for the future.