Calling All Mountaineers!

Who doesn't like wines from mountain-grown grapes? Up on the slopes, the soil is poorer and rockier, the weather harsher, the day-to-night temperature swings greater.  Grapevines struggle harder to survive, the grapes take longer to mature, and the crop yields are lower. The result? Mountain wines with a minerality, structure and intensity you frequently don't find in their lowland-grown cousins.

There's never been a MoCool like this one, that focuses on wines from one specific type of growing condition. We're eager to taste what you bring!


Traditionally, MoCool Friday evening is a time to socialize with your fellow MoCoolers and enjoy wines that don't conform to our main theme. So you're invited to join us at the Holiday Inn Express on Zeeb Road, west of Ann Arbor, with a worthy bottle of wine to share that isn't from the mountains... the rest is up to you! Chef Alan will provide an assortment of foods;  your additional food contributions are welcome, but not mandatory, especially if you're an out-of-towner.


For 25 years, Saturday's tasting picnic has been the MoCool centerpiece. And for the last fifteen or so, we've had the privilege of picnicking under the big tent at Camp Woodbury, on the shore of Nordman Lake, Jan and Tom's privately owned compound about 15 minutes west of Ann Arbor. (For more about the site, visit the Stay at the Lake page.)

We'll divide the large MoCool tent into tables that feature the different regions in Europe and the US that grow mountain grapes. Chasselas? Mondeuse? From the Swiss Alps to Howell Mountain, your contributions of exotic wines from unusual places will make the day even more special!

But if you're a fan of mountain wines from elsewhere -- maybe South Africa's Helderberg or Argentina's Cafayate -- don't hesitate to bring them along! We'll have tables available for your favorite "Piqued Peaks", no matter where they're located!Tasting under the tent at MoCool 10: Tour de France (2001)


Sherpa Chef Alan Kerr plans a wine-friendly menu for MoCool 2019, with due attention to the structure and intensity that characterize so much mountain fruit. Plan to consume prodigious quantities of hot and cold running appetizers from the opening bell, and a main course (brisket fresh off the smoker, we hear!) served around 6PM. Lots of vegetarian-friendly dishes are always on the menu, too.

Chef Alan Kerr at workIf you're a MoCool newbie, you'll quickly discover that the food alone makes the MoCool picnic more than worth the trip!

Once the wine and food begin to slacken in their attraction -- that's when we bring on the band! Our hosts, Tom and Jan, and their musical minions in Naked Ace will serve up a round of rocking bluesy gumbo guaranteed to keep your feet moving -- possibly toward the the wine tent for some dessert sips. How about some Steely Dan and Straw Wine? Sounds like a great combo to us! Dancing not only allowed, but encouraged!


Friday's reception costs $30, along with your choice of a bottle to share. The Saturday picnic costs $80 per person, plus your contribution of a bottle of wine (or more) that fits the Climb Every Mountain theme. Coming both days is an even better bargain; the two-event package is discounted to $100. Advance signup is required.Music by Naked Ace and guests at Game of Rhones (2015)


We welcome (and rely on) volunteer assistance for help with picnic setup on Saturday morning and cleanup on Sunday morning, as well as some local folks to run shopping and pickup errands in the days preceding the picnic. Volunteer kitchen assistants for Chef Alan during the day on Friday and Saturday morning are also welcome. If you'd like to help with any of these, please contact Tom Noland, our Sherpa Volunteer Shepherd.


Now that you're up to speed with all the info, head to the MoCool signup site to sign yourself up, list those joining you, and order a  t-shirt or 3. We prefer that you pay with your credit card or PayPal when you sign up. Alternatively, you can send a check to the address listed in your confirmation email.

We ask that you please register ASAP. Knowing approximate numbers greatly helps us to plan food and other logistics. The last day to signup for the picnic is Monday, July 22.

Sous-hef Allan Bree serves Tom Neman at "Hail That Cab" (1999)

So you know: We can't give refunds if you cancel after July 22, or simply don't show up. We can't give any refunds for cabins, RV space, or tent sites, unless someone else takes your space. MoCool is a breakeven proposition at best, which doesn't leave room for changes once we set budgets and quantities and start to buy food and supplies.


MoCool -- the Motown Co-Operative Off-Line -- is the world's longest-running off-line gathering of wired wine lovers, started in 1992 by a group in the Detroit / Ann Arbor area. Over the years, our annual summer tastings have brought together wine lovers from across the US and Canada, and as far away as France, South Africa and New Zealand!

The event is non-profit, run by a loosely organized group of volunteers for the purpose of enjoying good wines, good food, and socializing with fellow wine lovers. If you've read this far and that idea sounds pretty good to you, then you're probably one of us!


Go to the Contact page to email the appropriate person.

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