Finishing Touchés

A finishing touché in fencing indicates the final hit or touch with the epee or sword indicating ultimate victory, but in literature it is also a final acknowledgement of a telling or obvious statement.

Now that you’re horribly bored, I’m using the title of this blog entry as a play on words as the tasting room nears completion with just a few finishing touches. Almost everything is in place for a “soft opening” in February which will correspond to several releases of our 2009 vintages. Although 2009 was a bit of a struggle for Michigan winemakers, our winemaker Shawn Walters and his cellarmaster, David Hill, with help from Jason Buckler have created some masterful wines, carefully blending Washington state juices, high in sugar and pH, with our Michigan juices, low in sugar and pH. He has kept the ratios intact to still allow Leelanau Peninsula AVA nomenclature on the labels. Congratulations, 2009 was the year to separate the men from the boys, touché!

And, although horribly prejudiced, I feel these wines will even benefit from the ambiance of the new barn, adding a visual and intangible sensorial input taking the wines over the top. Awaiting bottling, the Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Unwooded Chardonnay will be joined by two new Forty-Five North wines: Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurtztraminer. Already in bottles, the Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and 45 Red continue to improve, unlike me, with age. And just for fun, our Northpor is a delightful new fortified, or as I like to say “FortyFide” wine. Our 45 Red is aged in freshly-rinsed bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace distillery and then fortified with brandy—um, yummy! So, in summary, mark your calendars for February, we’ll have plenty to celebrate with.