St. Ambrose Cellars 2011 Cabernet Franc

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Although Benzie County’s St. Ambrose Cellars primary focus is on honey-based meads, they also produce a line of grape wines that can’t be ignored. One in particular, the St. Ambrose Cellars 2011 Cabernet Franc, is a delicious, varietal-correct wine, made from grapes grown in the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation. Earthy and rich, the medium-bodied palate offers plenty to likeRead more

Cody Kresta Vineyard and Winery

What happens when a winemaking hobby becomes too big? If you’re David Butkovich, you open a winery and follow your dream of producing wines. Located on 20 acres in Mattawan, Michigan, Cody Kresta Vineyard and Winery opened their doors in 2010. But the dream of winemaking started before then. A third-generation grape grower, David planted his first vinesRead more

St. Ambrose Cellars

If you like meads and haven’t tasted an example from St. Ambrose Cellars, you are truly missing out. Located in Beulah, Michigan, St. Ambrose Cellars produces a variety of estate meads, traditional grape wines and honeys at Sleeping Bear Farms, one of the largest apiaries in the state with 7,000 bee hives. What started out as a hobbyRead more

Bowers Harbor Vineyards 2008 BHV Estate Riesling

Last but certainly not last in my tour of the wineries of the Old Mission Peninsula is Bowers Harbor Vineyards. A family-run, boutique winery, the 43-acre estate is located in historic Bowers Harbor. It’s unique microclimate provides ideal conditions for growing vinifera grapes. The estate includes two named vineyards, Erica and Langley, along with threeRead more

Chateau Grand Traverse 2008 Dry Riesling

Renowned for their Rieslings, Michigan’s wineries have made it the most planted grape in the state. But no winery has embraced the variety as much so as Chateau Grand Traverse. Established in 1974, the winery is credited with the first commercial planting of European vinifera grape varieties in Northern Michigan. Often referred to as the largest RieslingRead more

Black Star Farms 2008 Arcturos Pinot Gris

I’m beginning to run out of adjectives to describe the recent wines I’ve sampled from the Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City, Michigan. Named 1 of the top 10 great places for local wine by the USA TODAY, the region is delivering quality and value, making it a popular wine destination for tourists. Continuing thatRead more

Chateau Chantal Proprietor’s Reserve 2007 Pinot Noir

For whatever reasons, I’ve enjoyed more Pinot Noirs this year from the other 46 states than ever before. From the Finger Lakes in New York to the Snake River Valley in Idaho, quality has improved to the point where these emerging Pinot Noir regions can no longer be ignored. So it should come as noRead more