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Shannon Casey
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Now Black Star Farms Winery in Leelanau County has made Pinot Noir, the wine drinker’s wine, its signature grape. Given the high expectations of Pinot Noir drinkers- like the main character in the 2004 movie Sideways – it’s noteworthy that a winery in an emerging wine region would dedicate itself to a grape that Jancis Robinson calls “capricious and extremely variable.” Lee Lutes at Black Star is aware of the risks and rewards of committing to Pinot Noir. “Pinot Noir is also known as the heartbreak grape – the bastard grape, or any number of other negative associations. This is... Continue reading
Reblogged Apr 30, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
It was impossible to taste all the wines at Monday’s annual Michigan Wine Showcase at the Rattlesnake in Detroit — but I tasted enough of them to walk away with yet more impressions of this wonderful, changing, booming industry in our state. Clearly wine styles vary greatly, especially the Rieslings and Chardonnays. Vintners showed many dry whites with bracing acidity ideal for the table — some with unabashed oak. Pinot Noir continues to be a passion. And there was one new varietal of note — Gruner Veltliner more commonly associated with Austria — brimming with bold lime zest, red grapefruit... Continue reading
Reblogged Apr 17, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
The number of wineries in Michigan is rapidly expanding, topping the 100 mark in January when the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council approved three new wineries. Ten years ago, only about a third of these wineries existed. “The Michigan wine industry has tremendous momentum right now,” says Linda Jones, program manager of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. Wine production is has skyrocketed, reaching 1.3 million gallons, or 547,000 cases, annually. This is more than triple the production level of a decade ago, securing a spot for Michigan in the top 10 wine producing states in the country.... Continue reading
Reblogged Apr 13, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
Michigan wine dodged the bullet. To the satisfaction of many Michigan wine growers, late blooming wine grapes were unaffected by the 2012 season’s Spring warm and cold-snap that annihilated most of Michigan’s apple and fruit crop, according to a press release. “The quality of grapes last year was exceptional, perfect ripening conditions of the fruit allowed several grape varieties to perfectly express all their varietal characteristics,” said viticulture assistant professor Paolo Sabbatini in the release. “Much of the fruit harvested last year will produce reserve-quality wine.” He said Michigan is known for it’s wine and last season only proved it... Continue reading
Reblogged Mar 23, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
Governor Rick Snyder has declared April as “Michigan Wine Month” to honor Michigan’s wide selection of quality wines and the wine industry’s significant contribution to the economy. Sales of Michigan wine in the state rose more than 6 percent in 2012, while total wine sales increased just 1 percent. Michigan wine sales have outpaced total wine sales over the past 10 years, doubling Michigan wineries’ market share to 6.5 percent. The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council has added 11 new wineries to its roster over the last year — for a total of 101 wineries that support Michigan agriculture... Continue reading
Reblogged Mar 23, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
The temptation to skip over Gewurztraminer due to its difficult pronunciation may be great for many wine drinkers. Some people within the industry even speculate that the name might be a little intimidating for people to pronounce, perhaps preventing them from even trying the wine. However, customers might want to put aside their embarrassment and give it their best shot. The reward is definitely worth it. “It’s not a massive seller. Most people don’t know about it,” says Cooenraad Stassen. Stassen is the winemaker at Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery on the Old Mission Peninsula in northern Michigan. Brys Estate’s... Continue reading
Reblogged Mar 5, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
Laurentide Winery, located on French Road on the Leelanau Peninsula, only opened its doors last September and already is off to a roaring start. It was announced yesterday that Laurentide’s 2011 Riesling won the prestigious Riesling Challenge at the recent International Eastern Wine Competition. This year’s International Eastern Wine Competition drew more than 1,150 entries from all over the United States, heavily from the East, and beyond our borders. The Riesling Challenge is a separate judging to highlight this varietal because it is so successful in cooler-climate regions. via blogs.detroitnews.com Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 22, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
Winemakers in southwest Michigan are calling 2012 a "vintage year" for wine. "It was incredibly spectacular, considering how the year was for the rest of the food industry," says Joe Herman, owner and operator of Karma Vista Vineyards and Winery and Herman Farms, both in Coloma. via www.southbendtribune.com Yay! Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 22, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
If you travel the I-94 corridor west from Detroit toward Chicago, you pass by signs directing you to wineries as you near Jackson and Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo area westward is the oldest wine region in the state, but does not get near the publicity it deserves, but that issue is evolving. In an effort to educate winemakers in the Southwest Michigan region, and get consumers involved, Master Sommelier Ron Edwards, who lives in Charlevoix, and Mike de Schaaf of Hickory Creek Winery in Buchanan in Southwest Michigan and the Michigan Grape Society, with help from Michigan State University, invite wineries... Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 21, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
It’s been a while since we checked in with the wines from our friends at Chateau Grand Traverse, so when I ran across a bottle of their Gruner Veltliner “Laika” recently, I had to find out how this project was progressing. I figured it was also a good opportunity to try the latest incarnation of an old favorite, CGT’s Ship of Fools Pinot blend. Both of these tasty wines were made by Sean O’Keefe, and both employ Stelvin enclosures, which we keep liking more and more here at Adams, Heritier and Associates. via blogs.gangofpour.com Love these two wines! Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 19, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
As many found out in 2012, it’s not easy being a fruit grower in southwest Michigan. NewsCenter 16 meteorologist Mike Hoffman investigated how the wineries ended up faring in 2012. The crops that survived the freezes last spring had to then contend with the drought. It’s just another year in the life of wine-makers in Michigan. They are not able to just go out and plant grapes in the spring and get wine next fall. It takes time to grow the grapes, and then it takes time to ferment the wine. “If we plant grape plants tomorrow, we’re not going... Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 15, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
Ann Arbor native Mike Laing taught math for six years in Chicago and Abu Dhabi before moving north to apprentice at L. Mawby and develop his family’s vineyard in Leelanau County. Currently working as the winemaker for Mawby’s M. Lawrence wines, Mike and his brother, Peter, launched Big Little Wines in 2011. We sat down with Mike to talk local bubbly and the art of pairing wine with popcorn via www.mynorth.com Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 1, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
Aaron and Sandy Sedine are in heaven, at least from their point of view. They're the proud proprietors of Heavenly Vineyards, a new winery in Morley. While still a start-up business, the Sedines are well on their way to being a wine destination in the Grand Rapids area. via nwmichigan.secondwavemedia.com New winery! Continue reading
Reblogged Jan 16, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
A U.S. Department of Agriculture report released in November says wine production doubled in the last decade in many areas of Michigan and tripled in others, making this the fifth largest winemaking state in the country — and growing. The surprise in the report is that pinot noir has vaulted into second place in Michigan, behind chardonnay. For decades, it was believed that Michigan could not grow reds because of the sharp climate. But pinot production is now second to riesling, the state’s decades-long leader. The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council says Michigan now has more than 100 fully... Continue reading
Reblogged Jan 4, 2013 at Michigan By The Bottle
Although 2012 will long be remembered by Michigan’s growers as a challenging year for producing fruit, wine grapes were a bright spot in a dismal year for fruit production. After a mild winter, southwest Michigan experienced an unseasonably warm March with several weeks of temperatures in the 80s, followed by more normal temperatures and a series of frosts in April. Bud break was accelerated for vines on some sites, resulting in yield losses (10 to 20 percent) for some early varieties. Most wine grapes, however, escaped the freezes, and those that made it to harvest were of excellent quality. Insect... Continue reading
Reblogged Dec 17, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
The infield at Michigan International Speedway comes to life with the best wineries and breweries from across the state on May 18, 2013. The Michigan Wine and Beer Fest sponsored by Experience Jackson returns to the track under a new name, but still features the same great variety of wines and beers. MIS President Roger Curtis helps to hang the banner displaying the new name and logo along US Highway 12 by the track: http://youtu.be/CNq2GMLePAs. Michigan International Speedway, a 1,400-acre historic NASCAR racetrack in Southeastern Michigan’s Lenawee and Jackson Counties, will host its fourth annual Michigan Wine and Beer Fest... Continue reading
Reblogged Dec 17, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
More than 30 award-winning Michigan wineries will be showcasing their top creations for wine lovers to sample at Michigan International Speedway in May. The speedway will host its fourth annual Michigan Wine and Beer Fest – formally known as the Great Lakes Wine Fest – from noon to 9 p.m. May 18. via www.mlive.com Time to mark your calendars! Continue reading
Reblogged Dec 11, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
Northern Michigan Wines: The first hard freeze brings with it a stealth harvest in Northern Michigan vineyards: numb hands frantically grab riesling and vignoles clusters in the cold pre-dawn and whisk them to the winery where they slowly ferment into ice wine. Because of the intensive labor, long fermentation and minuscule yields, ice wine is not inexpensive, ranging from $50 to $90 for a half-bottle, but ice wines deliver an irresistible explosion of flavors. Channeling stone fruit aromas, exotic tropical overtones, caramel, fig and candied citrus peel, the essence of these frozen grapes is served up in a viscous golden... Continue reading
Reblogged Dec 11, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
Northern Michigan Event: November marks yet another milestone for Leelanau Peninsula’s Blustone Vineyards; the 40-acre family-owned vineyard opened their highly anticipated tasting room this month to showcase wines already achieving top honors in international competition. "We're very excited to be introducing Blustone to so many new friends and are encouraged by their response to our new tasting room and to our wines,” commented owner Tom Knighton. The wood, steel, stone, and glass structure sits atop a hill overlooking the vineyard with panoramic views of the Leelanau landscape. via www.mynorth.com Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 17, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
Madeline Triffon has a single-word suggestion for holiday wine selection, and it has nothing to do with grapes, tannins, acidity or sweetness. “Relax,” laughed Triffon, a master sommelier who works with the Plum Market wine team. “You don’t have to be a wine expert. I think just offering nice beverages at your party is lovely. People come to enjoy the company.” That said, Triffon and other local wine aficionados have tips aplenty for holiday hosts determined to augment good eats with equally delicious drinks. via www.candgnews.com For her "day job," Cort interviewed some wine experts around metro Detroit to get... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 14, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
Most of Michigan’s wine grapes are now tucked safely inside for processing into a hearty, high-quality 2012 vintage. Throughout the state, winemakers are excited about this year’s bounty. The season started early when unseasonably warm March days sparked the awakening of Michigan’s fruit orchards and vineyards and, over the course of a hot, dry summer, wine grapes thrived. "From a growing standpoint, this is the best season I’ve ever been involved in," says Winemaker Matt Moersch of Round Barn Winery and Free Run Cellars in southwest Michigan. "This could be the best vintage for Michigan. We should get a chance... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 2, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
Hands on, motivated by family pride and quest for the best, and feeding off talent wherever he can find it, St. Julian President David Braganini has surely played a pivotal role in the building of the modern Michigan wine industry. His 2010 Cabernet is a toast to his sweat and persistence — and his heartaches and headaches along the way. This is a lovely wine, off a vintage that was challenged at the beginning but delivered in the end. Black cherry, blackberry, ripe plum, cocoa and spice unfold on the nose. In the mouth, flavors are still restrained but profoundly... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 21, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
2012 will go down as an "annus horribilis" for most fruit-growers in Michigan. Apples, cherries, pears have been hit hard by the big March warm-up followed by a spring frost, then a hot, dry summer. But if you are a wine producer in Michigan, you might be feeling happier about the weather we've had this year! Eddie O'Keefe is the President of Chateau Grand Traverse Wines on the beautiful Old Mission Peninsula. There was a lot of nail biting amongst growers early in the season said Mr. O’Keefe. “To go from 90 degrees to three feet of snow on the... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 11, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
The 2012 vintage in Michigan will be yet another in a string of excellent harvests. The 2010 was compromised in quantity, but quality made up for that; and 2011 was all-round terrific. Just think: Now we have a third vintage to toast. So far, vintners are in agreement that the wines may be softer because of lower acids caused by the dry heat, but ripeness, especially for the reds, may help make for that. Picking started earlier than vintners can ever remember, and here in early October, only a few grapes are left on the vines to further mature. St.... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 11, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle
Dividing Lake Michigan's Traverse Bay, Old Mission Peninsula is the place to go when you want to get away from the grind of daily life. Although it's home to only eight wineries, it's an official American Viticultural Area. A long weekend here means you'll have enough time to get to know each winery well. We suggest you begin with Chateau Chantal, an Old World-style winery on a 65-acre estate. Along with an eleven-room bed-and-breakfast, the grounds are home to a cooking school, where demonstration and hands-on classes include the opportunity to learn the fine art of pairing food and wine.... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 9, 2012 at Michigan By The Bottle