Midwest Wine Press Michigan Wine Wire
Welcome to the Michigan Wine Wire, a new feature that will appear from time-to-time in Midwest Wine Press, reporting on news of interest in the Michigan wine business.
Forty-Five North Welcomes Briggs, Grossnickle
In late August, Forty-Five North in Lake Leelanau welcomed Jay Briggs to its winemaking team. With the official title of cellar master, Briggs is overseeing all aspects of production. “We are very enthusiastic about having him here,” says General Manager Alanna Grossnickle. “He comes to us with a lot of knowledge.” Briggs was previously the vineyard manager for Shady Lane Cellars in Suttons Bay for eight years. Also joining the family business is Alanna’s brother-in-law Brian Grossnickle, son of Steve and Lori Grossnickle, who started the winery. He is moving his family from Tijeras, N.M., to Maple City, Mich. He will play an active role at the winery assisting in both the vineyard and cellar.
Shady Lane Cellars For Sale
Shady Land Cellars has been listed for sale with an asking price of $4 million.
New Tasting Room On Old Mission
The eighth winery on Old Mission Peninsula opened on September 22nd. The new tasting room is brought to us by the owners of Hawthorne Vineyard, Bruce and Kathleen Hawthorne. Located about four miles north of Traverse city overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay, the winery also has 26 acres of wine grapes. The full tasting room is scheduled for a grand opening in May 2013. Winemaking will be done by Brian Hosmer of Chateau Chantal.
Oosterhouse Winery Now Set to Open Spring 2014
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Carter Oosterhouse’s winery on the Old Mission Peninsula should be ready in late spring of 2014 according Carter’s brother, Todd. Carter, the heart throb of HGTV who was born and raised in Traverse City, is building the new winery with Todd next door to Carter’s 100-year-old farmhouse.
Toasting The Harvest
Andrew McFarlane, of the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association, tells The Grape Vine that wineries are reporting a great harvest this year. To celebrate, the LPVA is holding its “wildly popular” 2013 Toast the Season Wine Tour during the beginning of November. (See Midwest Wine Press Calendar for more information.)
Verterra Continues to Expand Grape Production
Paul Hamelin of Verterra Winery reports that the winery now has 33 acres of grapes growing in the Leelanau Peninsula. In the Spring of 2007, Hamelin planted his first 19 acre vineyard on former cherry orchards. Verterra’s primary vineyard is south of Northport on Matheson Road. Hamelin reports that all vineyards are drip irrigated and all Verterra rootstock is from Europe via California. The 2011 Verterra Pinot Blanc that won Best of Class at the 2012 Pacific Rim Wine Competition was made from estate grown fruit harvested from 3-year-old vines. “This year should be even higher quality,” Hamelin said.
Grand Rapids Artist Has ‘Fling’ at Silver Leaf
Grand Rapids Artist Stephanie Schlatter will be signing her new label art at Silver Leaf Vineyard on October 20th. The wine with the colorful new label is “Fling,” a blended, semi-sweet rose. Marco Carlson of Silver Leaf says, “There is currently a resurrection of rose’ wines….I decided to approach making this new wine for a sweet pallet due to customer requests.” Carson went on to explain that “Fling” is a blend of Cayuga and Pinot Gris. “It’s meant to be fun and versatile,” he concluded.
Linda Jones and Karel Bush Visit Chicago For Michigan Wine
Linda Jones and Karel Bush of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council spent two days in Chicago this week promoting Michigan wine while meeting with retailers, restaurants and distributors. While Michigan wineries attract many Chicagoans to their tasting rooms, Michigan wine has a small market share in the Windy City.
But the demand for Michigan wine is increasing. During their Chicago visit, Linda and Karel met with Kelly Kniewel of Fresh Coast Distributors who has had success selling wine in Chicago for Michigan wineries like Black Star Farms, Domaine Berrien and Fenn Valley.
A new Chicago wine distributor, Dileep Gangolli, of Evanston Cellars, LLC also spent time Linda and Karel. Gangolli recently started representing some Leelanau Peninsula wineries in Chicago including Circa Estate Winery and Brengeman Brothers.
“We’ll definitely be coming back to Chicago,” Jones said. “As the Michigan wine industry expands, it’s invaluable to make more contacts in Chicago who appreciate the quality of Michigan wine.”
Midwest Press Story About Michigan Teroldego Receives a Response From Italy
A September article in Midwest Wine Press titled “Offbeat European Grapes Growing Across the Midwest” received a less than warm response from the Italian news website “L’Aldige.it.” Some Italians fear that the Teroldego being grown at Michigan State University and at Black Star Farms threatens the integrity and character of this native Italian grape. These fears seem unfounded. Does California have any native wine grapes? No, the Californians get their vines from Europe; just like Michigan is doing now.
The Torch is Passed at Michigan Wineries and At The Detroit News
A great, recent story from The Detroit News features the next generation of Michigan winemakers. See: Established Michigan Wineries Groom Next Generation. This article is the last penned by Sandra Silven who is retiring from the Detroit News after 41 years.
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