As a fourth-generation tree farmer and Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture, Jake has developed a unique process for grafting and growing a unique cold hearty living grape vine produced to thrive in his home state of Michigan known as Truly Michigan Vines (founded under Campbell Milarch Vines in 2012 with his wife, Amanda).
Jake is innovative in his approach to developing his old growth champion vines, taking advantage of both unfavorable land and scrap materials to produce viable, local vines. He utilizes low-lying areas of the norther Michigan vineyard to grow rootstock only—areas which are not suitable for fruiting vines and sources scion (the fruiting part of the vine) from clippings that are normally composted.
Sourced and grown from Michigan rootstock and custom-grafted with scion—the fruiting arm of the vine—Jake’s vines are designed to thrive in Michigan soil and climate. They also allow growers to produce fruit up to one year earlier than out-state vines, since they are live instead of dormant plants which also can be planted late into the season.
Born and raised in Benzie County, Jake attended Kirtland Community College in Roscommon, where he played basketball and earned an Associate Degree in Art.
In addition to his work with Truly MiVines, Jake is Director of Propagation & Education Program Director for Archangel Ancient Tree Archive where he is responsible for climbing and cloning the world’s oldest and tallest trees through propagation (a method of producing genetically identical plants from a single parent plant. The resulting plant is a clone, meaning it has 100% of the same DNA as the plant from which it was propagated). He is also a member of International Plant Propagators Society.
Since 2013, Jake and Amanda have also operated Milarch Tree Company, which preserves, restores and when necessary removes trees, along with providing stump grinding services.
A graduate of the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University, Amanda Milarch has used her Bachelor of Arts degree and major in marketing to forge herself into the world of food service, hospitality, event planning and now agriculture in northern Michigan.
Amanda has worked for companies such as Plascon Food Solutions in Traverse City, where she was the National Account Director. She also was a Group Sales Manager (2013-2014) and Wedding & Special Event Sales Manager (2014-2016) at the award-winning Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville. Since 2016, she has served as a Wedding Coordinator for Crystal Lake Golf Club in Beulah.
In 2012, Amanda and her husband, Jake, founded Truly MiVines, where she currently serves as the company’s Executive Director. She also helps run their tree service company, Milarch Tree Company.
Amanda’s professional organization involvement over the years has included the National Restaurant Association, Research Chef’s Association, Society of Government Meeting Planners, National Notary Association and Traverse City Young Professionals (through the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce).
With a background in retail, Pat Murad spent 20 years selling Michigan wine at his family business—Duck Lake Grocery in Highland. An amateur gardener, he also tried his hand at growing wine grapes but struggled to get them to take root.
Looking to learn more about the overall wine industry, he volunteered at the Michigan State Research Winery – Spartan Cellars (1999-2001) and later served as a judge at the Michigan State Fair for its commercial wine competition (1993-2003). This took him down the path to the Enology and Viticulture program at Michigan State University, where he earned his degree in 2004 and worked as a Technical Aid for the Department of Horticulture and as a research technician for Associate Professor Paolo Sabbatini.
Pat has since planted a vineyard in northern Michigan and works managing other vineyards while also serving as Director of Sales for Truly Michigan Vines. With a passion for grape growing and wine making, he is able to use his background in the industry to work with winery and vineyard owners to select the ideal Michigan-grafted vines to complement their existing operations while also helping them grow into new sectors.