Peninsula Cellars Riesling Stands up for Michigan

Peninsula Cellars 2007 Select RieslingIn an article for TIME magazine entitled, “Fifty States of Wine” author Joel Stein took on the challenge of tasting a wine from every state. Only twelve wines received a rating of Excellent including the 2006 Select Reisling from Peninsula Cellars. “Michigan’s riesling was one of my favorites,” said Stein.

There is much discussion over what makes a good wine. Is it the terrior, a french term for the region in which it’s grown? Is it the craftsmanship of the winemaker? Or is it all a matter of opinion? I think there’s no one answer to the question. So rather than take someone else’s word for it, why not judge for yourself. Pick up a few bottles of Michigan wine and hold your own blind tasting.

Conduct your own experiment and hold a horizontal tasting party. Pick up 5-6 different bottles of Riesling, you can choose wine from one winery or several, and compare them side by side. With this type of tasting you can pick-up on the variety of wines that can be produced from one type of grape. Riesling can be sweet or dry, you may taste fruits or minerals, it could be acidic or smooth. This type of tasting will not only bring out the characteristics of each wine, it will give you some insight into the winemaker’s preferences too.


For information on Peninsula Cellars check out their website. To read the full article, “Fifty States of Wine” by Joel Stein click here.


By |2020-01-09T10:58:52-05:00September 4th, 2008|Check This Out, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

Cherry Stop Now Offering Forty-Five North Wines

Enjoy a Taste of Forty-Five North Exclusively in Downtown Traverse City

With their tasting room still under construction Forty-Five North needed a place for wine lovers to sample their growing list of award-winning wines. The Cherry Stop, on Front Street in Traverse City, offered the perfect solution. Their new wine bar allows guests to sample wines by flight, as an individual taste, or even by the glass.

Shawn Walters, winemaker for Forty-Five North has already created some award-winning wines at the state-of-the-art winery in Leelanau Peninsula. The Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir Rose and Dry Riesling all achieved “Double Gold” awards at the 2008 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in California.

Currently there are 9 wines from Forty-Five North available for tasting at The Cherry Stop including their Late Harvest Vignole, 45 White and Pinot Noir which have also received prestigious awards.


For more information on the Wine Bar at the Cherry Stop check out our recent post here. For a map and details on their location check out our Attractions page.

Forty-Five North cards are coming soon to the Meal Tickets & Unusual Ideas displays and website so stay tuned!

Doe Coe Receives Rueben Brigham Award

 Our congratulations go out to Don Coe, managing partner of Black Star Farms, as the recipient of the Rueben Brigham Award.

The award is presented by The Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Services. Don Coe was nominated for his dedication to the field of agriculture through extensive oral and written contributions.

Don has dedicated much of his career to the promotion of the wine industry and the development of this area as an agricultural tourism destination. He’s authored several articles and has become a sought after national speaker.

For more details on the award click here. For information on Black Star Farms Wineries check out our Dining & Wineries page or visit their website here.

By |2020-01-09T12:19:26-05:00June 13th, 2008|Wineries|0 Comments

Wine Bar Opens at the Cherry Stop

The Cherry Stop Brings Wine Tasting to Downtown Traverse City

If you’ve wandered into the popular cherry store this spring you’ve probably noticed some changes. Owners Nick and Jamie Roster took on a few renovations, and some minor construction to create a fabulous new resource for wine lovers and area wineries alike. Their Northern Michigan Wine Bar will feature wine selections from over 20 local wineries. Guests will have the opportunity to taste and compare wines in flights or by the glass.


They are currently featuring two flights of cherry wines, representing five different wineries in each, as well as a flight of Riesling. The paid tastings, as required by state liquor laws, are reasonably priced, with flights for $3.50 and single tastings for $0.75. And unlike most tasting rooms their wines are also available by the glass. The Cherry Stop has increased their wine inventory substantially to accommodate the new tasting bar and allow guests the option to purchase a bottle before they leave.


With an ever growing number of area wineries, and countless wines available, the Rosters plan to feature new wines and wineries on a rotating basis. Future opportunities include special events with the winemakers, featured tastings, and food pairings including cheese and desserts from local businesses.


For more information about The Cherry Stop, including a map to their location, check out their card on our Attractions page, or visit their website here.


Corks vs. Screw Caps, Local Winemakers Open to New Closures

When it comes to protecting their precious vintage some local wineries are making the switch from corks to screw caps. What it lacks in drama, it makes up in efficiency.


According to Lee Lutes, winemaker for Black Star Farms, the Stelvin closure, otherwise known as the screw cap, does a better job of protecting the wine from spoiling than does a traditional cork. When they opened their new winery on Old Mission, Black Star Farms added the ability to bottle with screw caps. The first of their wines to utilize this closure is their ’07 Arcturos Late Harvest Riesling, which is now available in the tasting rooms.


Another winery utilizing the screw cap option is the newcomer Forty-Five North. Winemaker Shawn Walters is enthusiastic about the use of metal closures on their wines. In fact 90 percent of their wines are under screw caps, including their sparkling rose, cider, peach and cherry.


But there are two sides to this story. Bryan Ulbrich of Left Foot Charley has bottled only one wine, the 2007 Pinot Blanc, with this closure. “Using this closure requires some subtle changes in winemaking. I am doing this as an experiment. Cork is a very sound closure and it is the most environmentally friendly choice,” said Ulbrich.


Peninsula Cellars is not currently set-up to handle screw top closures. Owner John Kroupa explained it may be several years before they make the investment in the necessary equipment to bottle in this way. And there’s also the factor of consumer acceptance to consider. When asked his opinion on the use of the closure he replied, ” I am for their use. However, mentally there is something much more romantic about popping a cork on a nice bottle of wine, rather than twisting the cap off.”


It sounds like the jury is still out on this one. As the wine industry grows in Northern Michigan I expect we’ll continue to see the technology follow. I’m a bit more of a traditionalist. I love to see the graphics and logos that wineries tattoo on their corks. It’s a fun and inexpensive souvenir of a memorable wine event or a special dinner. And frankly, I won’t be keeping a bowl of plastic caps on my coffee table. So my vote is to keep the cork! But decide for yourself. And in the end, it’s not about the closure, it’s what’s inside that counts.

By |2020-01-09T12:32:42-05:00May 27th, 2008|Leelanau, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

Northern Michigan Wine Summit at Park Place Hotel

Join wineries from across the area for the 2nd Annual Northern Michigan Wine Summit on Monday, April 28, 2008 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm at the Park Place Hotel. Taste regional wines, get a preview some of the NEW wineries opening soon, and meet the winemakers as they gather to share the fruits of their harvest. Public welcome.


By |2020-01-09T14:51:07-05:00April 28th, 2008|Check This Out, Events, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

DC Restaurant Features Traverse Area Wine & Spirits

The wines of Black Star Farms and the new cherry vodka from True North have recently been featured at Oya Restaurant & Lounge in Washington, DC. In a recent TV interview with Fox DC, Andrew Stover, sommelier at Oya and Michigan native, paired three wines with a sampling of OYA sushi; one of which was from Black Star Farms.

This month, in celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, they’ve created a signature drink. The “blossomtini” is made from True North Cherry Vodka, Paringa Sparkling Shiraz wine, sour mix and grenadine.

By |2020-01-10T08:52:38-05:00March 17th, 2008|Check This Out, Restaurants, Wineries|0 Comments