The Michigan Liquor Control Commission defines a tasting room as any approved area where wine may be sampled without cost before purchasing. The sampled wine is not taxed and the winery can act as a distributor as well as a retail outlet. Fine, our tasting room is a 120 year old barn that was disassembled in Wyoming, Michigan, transported to the vineyard and is now in the process of being raised as a rustic, nostalgic remembrance of the past. The completion date will be sometime this fall.
Ah, but in the meantime our production facility at 8580 E. Horn Rd. has doubled as tasting room de facto since July 4, our first official tasting day. We are open for tasting Friday 12:00 to 5:00, Saturday 12:00 to 6:00, and Sunday 12:00 to 5:00; for a map, see the sidebar on the home page. Official, the critical word, required Ag Dept. inspection and Michigan Liquor Control Commission approval, both acquired through the diligence of our tasting room manager, Cindy Curley, and her able bodied assistant intern, Katie Grossnickle. They are to be commended for daily updates, necessary paper work, and hundreds of phone calls wading through the myriad onerous regulations. Again, it is better to be lucky than good, finding Cindy has moved us forward as a working winery. Her vast tasting room experience will navigate Lori, Katie, and myself into the world of retail reality. The four of us have worked the tasting room with help from Deb Peplinksi, Steve Curley, and John and Carol Clay. What a team to help sample our newest wines:
Peach Crémant — Our 45 White table wine with peach essence from local orchards, sparkled to help drive the bouquet into one’s nostrils. Fabulous on a hot day as it’s both refreshing and tingling.
Cherry Dessert — Dry-fermented Balaton cherry wine, aged in freshly emptied bourbon barrels from the Buffalo Trace Distillery and fortified with cherry brandy. It’s a brandied cherry with a turbo boost that was nicknamed “Cherry Bomb” by my son, Brian, although I thought it best described as “Forty-Fied Forty-Five” or cherry essence raised to the 45th power.
Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé — Our ‘Best of Class’ Rosé at the Pacific Rim Competition, sparkled to intensify the bouquet and bone-dry the long taste.
Icebox Pinot Gris — Our answer to ice wine, made from late harvest pinot gris grapes bursting with juice, starting 46° brix fermented to 23° brix and residual sugar of 20% that is tamed by it’s very high acidity. Truly the whip cream for dessert.
Cherry Wine — Of classic up-north style, the sweetest of Balaton cherries fermented leaving a residual sugar of 4% with both still and sparkling products. Simply opening it will conjure up remembrances of northern Michigan.
Apple Wine — Made with organic apples from the orchard of Northern Naturals, organic makes this truly a health drink.
Sparkling Hard Apple Cider — Made from organic antique heirloom apples and, editorially speaking, a favorite of the author. At 6% alcohol even the heartiest beer drinker can savor this.
Peach-Apricot Mead — Northern Michigan honey, peaches, and apricots fermented together to blend another memory building taste experience.
Thanks for bearing with me.
Steve a.k.a. Sevé