You might hear some folks say, "I don't remember school projects like this when I was in school." A Western Michigan University student project has now become a Bronco branded wine, that is available as of today in restaurants and stores around the area and around Michigan.

The question posed to students in WMU leadership and business strategy courses was "How do you create a purpose-driven brand that speaks to consumers and generates sales?" And the project became "a cause-driven, micro-local Michigan wine.

"Originally, launching a wine brand out of the college didn’t seem real; it sounded gimmicky," says senior Jason Olinger. "My thinking quickly changed from 'this is just for a grade' to 'real lives will be impacted if this goes through.' I couldn't tell you how many people we called to get pricing on importing, shipping and handling, storing, and distributing. Ten other groups of students were doing the same thing, if not more. Maybe it's the atmosphere that our professors created or the overall project dynamic, but I have never seen so many students come together and care about a project like this." - WMU release

The rest of the story about the genesis of the project is at the Bronconess website.

There are three wines available, as of October 5th. The timing also coincides with WMU Homecoming next weekend.

Bronconess Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Deep red in color with a dark core. Fervent character with full black fruit flavors, sweet undertones and firm tannins. A high-quality reserve wine with a unique expression of its boutique, hillside origin.
Bronconess Red Wine Blend 2015: Deep ruby red color. Its aroma reminds us of spicy notes delivered by Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon that are softened by the red fruits delivered by Malbec. It has a good structure, with sweet harmonic tannins and a balanced acidity that makes it easy to drink. It is a wine that easily accompanies meats and pasta.
Bronconess Reserve White Blend 2015: Fresh and crisp with good acidity. Aromas of lemon, lime and melon with flavors that jump right out of the glass. Ideal with shrimp cocktail, whitefish or grilled chicken.

The wines will be available at various Meijer stores throughout Michigan, at Meg-A-Bev stores, various local party stores, and at the University Roadhouse. The list of locations is at the Bronconess website, too.

Given that this is a school project, and driven by millennials, it is a cause driven brand akin to "Newman's Own" and "TOMS". Bronconess profits will fund scholarships for leadership and business strategy students at WMU.