Michigan Uncorked Summer 2020

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michigan

Uncorked

VOL. 4 NO. 2 SUMMER 2022

• CHRIS SOUTHERN • COVID KEEPERS


CONTENTS

www.michiganuncorked.com

4 CHRIS SOUTHERN For winemaker Chris Southern, getting into the wine business was serendipity. Southern traveled across the world before ending up back in Detroit at the recently opened Detroit Vineyards.

8 COVID KEEPERS 4

In preparing for post-pandemic life, some Michigan wineries are embracing what were intended to be short-term changes for the long haul.

13 MICHIGAN PORT One might be pressed to find many similarities between old-world Portugal and new-world Michigan, but one would not be reaching far to suggest that Michigan wine producers have succeeded in bringing honor to the famous Portuguese beverage.

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17 SMELL THE ROSÉ Rosé. The word itself conjures images of seaside strolls, grilled seafood, and vacation vibes. It’s easy to sip, easy to pair, and easy to shop for.

19 A TC TRANSPLANT IN FRANCE Shawnn Antieau Versino began her wine career in Traverse City, Mich., but soon developed an affinity for a certain French man and a certain French wine.

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23 JUDGEMENT POSTPONED Annual Michigan wine judging event postponed due to supply chain and staffing issues.

25 BETWEEN THE VINES Sommelier Ellen Landis, CS, CSW shares her latest tasting notes on some of her favorite Michigan wines.

Cover: Chris Southern, winemaker at Detroit Vineyards.

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MESSAGE

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FROM THE EDITOR Wine flies when you’re having fun — Anon.

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inemaker Chris Southern came full circle, from Michigan to California and New Zealand back to Detroit to showcase his skills at Detroit Vineyard. We welcome new contributor Erin Marie Miller, who has the full story. Regular contributor Cortney Casey shows a silver lining behind some of the Covid-19 restrictions that have been in place over the past couple years. Now that those restrictions have been lifted, many businesses are realizing that at least some of the “pivots” made during the pandemic are worth retaining.

Jack Costa provides some excellent background on the history of port wine and what to look for in terms of the subtle di erences, as well as what Michigan has to o er in this unique category of forti ed wine. Rosé is here to stay and is the perfect summer drink. Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro snagged an exclusive interview with Karen MacNeil, author of the awardwinning book, THE WINE BIBLE, about the world of rosé and how this magical pink-hued elixir has secured its footing at the forefront of the wine scene. When Shawnn Antieau Versino graduated from Traverse City High School in 1989 she didn’t have a plan for what came next. Madeleine Vedel explains how this Michigan native ended up in the vineyards of France to nd her favorite wine and her newfound home. Associate Editor Greg Tasker has a late-breaking story about the Judgement of Michigan, which will be postponed until next year. And last, but never least, our very own in-house sommelier Ellen Landis, CS, CSW provides her tasting notes on some of her favorite Michigan wines.

Cheers,

Editor-in-Chief Jim Rink • Associate Editor Kim Schneider • Associate Editor Greg Tasker Executive Secretary Karen Koenig-Rink • Contributing Writers Cortney Casey, Jack Costa, Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro, Ellen Landis, CS, CSW, Erin Marie Miller, Madeleine Vedel michiganUncorked Vol. 4 No.2 Summer 2022

Copyright © 2022 by michiganUncorked, LLC Reproduction or use of the editorial or pictorial content without written permission is prohibited. Editorial Office, Jim Rink P.O. Box 121, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653, editor@michiganuncorked.com Unsolicited manuscripts or other information will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. Website: www.michiganuncorked.com

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FINDING A SENSE OF PLACE From Michigan to California and back again, winemaker Chris Southern’s career comes full-circle at Detroit Vineyards

by Erin Marie Miller

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or Detroit-based winemaker Chris Southern, getting into the

wine business was serendipity: “It was an accident. I was going to go into sustainable agriculture, like urban farming. When I was researching programs, I’d written down that Cal Poly had one. Turns out, they didn’t. But I was already done with the application so I was like, ‘Wine. Sure. I’m not gonna get in anyway,’” Southern recalls with a laugh. As fate would have it, Southern did get accepted to California Polytechnic University’s wine and viticulture program —

4 | MICHIGAN UNCORKED Chris Southern, winemaker at Detroit Vineyards

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Detroit Vineyards bottling line

a chance turn of events that would prompt the Detroit area native to move across the country to San Luis Obispo in 2010 to pursue a concentration in oenology thousands of miles from home. That degree, and the expertise that came with it, would take Southern’s career to unexpected heights. Over the decade that followed, Southern traveled from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Sonoma, Washington state and even New Zealand, mastering his new craft while making wine in some of the industry’s most celebrated regions. By 2019, Southern’s reputation for quality winemaking found its way back to Michigan, capturing the attention of a recentlyopened winery called Detroit Vineyards. After being recruited to take over its winemaking program late that year on the heels of its challenging rst several months in business, Southern found his career taking yet another unexpected turn as he left the West Coast to start a new chapter — bringing the art of winemaking back to Detroit. A year rife with challenges and opportunities Situated in the former Stroh’s Ice Cream plant in Detroit’s Eastern Market district, Detroit Vineyards’ 15,000-square-foot facility, which includes a winery and an artfully-designed tasting room, feels out of place against the industrial urban landscape that surrounds it on Gratiot Ave. As the rst winery to open in Detroit in nearly 60 years, the renovated building is a beacon of changing times in the city — a fact that hasn’t been lost on Southern since taking over as general manager and winemaker over two years ago. Located in a region of the country where wineries aren’t common as they are on the West Coast, and in a city where residents are often wary of new developments amid rising housing costs, Southern says building clientele is something the winery is still working on as it heads into its third year of business.

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Still, Detroit Vineyards has been well-received by patrons in the city since opening — even despite the pandemic, which prompted the tasting room to close its doors to the public only months after Southern took over. “It was a lot. The winery had a bit of a false start under my predecessor, so there was cleanup work to do. I was just kind of getting to the end of that when the pandemic hit,” Southern says. Over the year that followed, Southern says he and his team overcame unique challenges created by the crisis including a glass shortage that delayed the winery’s fall release until January, tari s and supply chain disruptions. Despite those experiences, or perhaps because of them, Southern says he gained valuable insights into running the business during that rst year. “I did learn a lot about what was working and what wasn’t. So, in a lot of ways, it really drove home to me that I was making the right decisions. We really want to focus on making quality wines and not make this an event space, because it’s a winery,” Southern says. Keeping things local Part of what works for Detroit Vineyards is partnering with local vineyards from di erent regions across Michigan. “I think we're doing something neat — there isn't another urban winery that's highlighting all of the parts of the state like we are. We're doing it right,” Southern says. At Detroit Vineyards, every wine is produced and bottled on-site in the winery situated just behind the tasting room. Featuring grapes from Michigan’s best growing regions, the winery partners with local vineyards like Domaine Berrien in Berrien County, Yuba Vineyards in Williamsburg, Tabone Vineyards on the Old Mission Peninsula and Herman Farms Vineyard, an eighth-generation Michigan farming family. Detroit Vineyards also operates a three-quarter acre “pilot” vineyard at the corner of Mack and Beacons eld, which Southern hopes will yield a crop within the next year or so. “Most of the wines I make are single-varietal, single-vineyard,” Southern says, noting that the exception to that rule is the winery’s blends, which sometimes contain combinations of grapes grown in di erent places. Despite his unique emphasis on highlighting Michigan’s vineyards and growing regions in every bottle, Southern says he’s just following tradition. “I don’t think I’m doing anything particularly special. I think I just do a lot of what the people I worked for out West did, which is really looking for a sense of place and to highlight those vineyards,” Southern says. A philosophy of simplicity Having gone from making wine in locations across the West Coast to producing it in Michigan, Southern says he disagrees with the tier-based rankings consumers sometimes assign to wines from di erent regions. “They’re not better or worse. They’re just di erent places to make wine,” Southern says, explaining that Michigan wines hold up against those produced in other regions so long as the winemaking follows the same standards.

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“We are in a city that is experiencing a lot of gentri cation, that's just as a fact. And so some people, I think, are a little turned o by something like this for that reason. Other people just don't know what to make of it. … So, there is a little bit more explanation that we need to do,” Southern says.


“I think we’re seeing a turning of the tide in terms of recognition of the potential quality (of Michigan wines) … So we’re seeing now what actually can be done, instead of just this reliance on making a lot of sweet Riesling and sweet white wines. We actually can make good red wines here,” Southern says. That attitude comes from years spent developing his technique on the West Coast — a practice Southern has continued to focus on as he strives to produce wine of the same high caliber in Michigan. “Really, I just think what I learned, especially during the last ve years I was in California, was just sort of an ethos or a style,” Southern says. In addition to highlighting a sense of place with each wine he makes, Southern says his philosophy for bringing out the best in Michigan-grown grapes, which he describes as lighter and more “esoteric and pretty,” is to prioritize the use of natural barrels during the winemaking process for reds. For whites, Southern primarily uses stainless steel, although he recently acquired an amphora that he’s looking forward to using in the coming year. Beyond those simple strategies, Southern’s process also avoids additives to keep the wines at Detroit Vineyards as clean as possible: “If we keep our pH and our chemistry in line, we don’t need to use a lot of sulfur …” Southern explains. “My strategy always is like, work clean, be clean, keep your chemistry where it needs to be.” That chemistry-based philosophy allows for the limited addition of things like sulfur, enzymes and colors that might otherwise impact the quality of the wines Southern produces at Detroit Vineyards, allowing the fruits to shine. “I try to work with growers that grow fruit that’s up to the quality that I don’t need to manipulate it,” Southern says. Customers can expect those standards to be evident in the winery’s upcoming April release, which Southern says will include a Merlot and a Marsanne, though the remainder of the year’s releases are still up in the air for now. After two years of challenges and pivots, Southern is looking forward to more normal times as Detroit Vineyards heads into its third year. In addition to new releases and the possibility of classes and wine dinners, Southern says his focus, for now, is getting back to what the winery does best: connecting with customers. “What we really want to do is focus back towards spending more time with each guest, talking about the wines, why the wines are special and getting customers in here that actually do care about wine. Because we are making some cool wines from some cool vineyards — and we want to talk about it,” Southern says.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Erin Marie Miller is a freelance journalist based in Metro Detroit. A lover of all things independent, she has written about small businesses, restaurants, nonprofits, the arts and more for publications in Michigan and California Since 2014.

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SILVER LININGS Many Michigan wineries find success in COVID-era overhauls by Cortney Casey

Blustone Vineyard

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hen COVID struck in early 2020, wineries across the state found themselves forced to re-evaluate processes and procedures to

comply with public health restrictions. But now that those restrictions have been lifted, many businesses are realizing that at least some of the “pivots” made during the pandemic are worth retaining. One of the most substantial changes guests may notice is a marked shift from belly-up-to-the-bar tastings to seated tastings. Originally implemented to facilitate social distancing, the format found fans at many wineries. “Our guests love the changes, the winery is doing better nancially, and our sta are bene ting from increased gratuity earnings,” says Patrick Brys, president/CEO of Brys Estate on Old Mission Peninsula. “Change can be hard, and the pandemic taught us that we need to be exible. With exibility and ingenuity we were able to change — and what has resulted has been positive for our guests, business and team.” Brys Estate’s tasting bar was physically not long enough to accommodate social distancing consistent with the winery’s guest tra c, so they began o ering table service at appropriately spaced tables via “tasting towers” — black metal holders with ve tasting glasses arranged vertically, says Brys. At Black Star Farms, which also shifted to table service, “when guests arrive, we greet them and take them to their seats — no more scrum at the bar trying to get a spot,” says Chris Lopez, Black Star’s retail sales manager.

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Hills locations to bring in crowds. Amid COVID restrictions, Lizarralde ceased walk-up bar service, a general cover charge and seating of una liated groups at a single table, shifting to online paid table reservations and tableside service. It’s worked so well that he plans to continue the format inde nitely. “With table reservations made on Eventbrite — no collecting money at the door, bonus — everyone gets a seat, everyone sits with friends they know, and everyone is happy,” he says. Blustone Vineyards Owner/General Manager Tom Knighton opted to give his Lake Leelanau tasting room a complete redesign — complete with new furniture and layout — to accommodate the shift from bar tastings to table service. Citing the change’s popularity with guests and sta alike, Knighton says he plans to retain the system into the future. “We had already been considering this after a benchmarking trip to other wineries in the country — the pandemic simply accelerated Laurentide

implementation,” explains Knighton. “We o er two, ve-wine tasting ights. Each wine is served by our team one at a time. This gives our team an opportunity to really connect with our guests and

provide in depth information about each wine. Our guests enjoy a more relaxing experience and during the pandemic it allowed us to space our tables to accommodate social distancing.” Meridith Lauzon, operations manager for Left Foot Charley in Traverse City, says they’re “keeping almost everything” they implemented during COVID due to the success. “We have added more tables, and found table service is a fantastic way for us to connect with our guests,” she says. “O ering ights has been a great way for people to relax and really try the wines, as well as have a conversation with their wine server. “Previously, it was easy to feel rushed when visiting on a Saturday in September with a packed bar. Now people can stay and have a glass and get a more personalized experience.” Flying Otter Winery in Adrian invested in a completely new POS system to accommodate tableside ights in lieu of bar tastings, says Owner Bob Utter: “Our customers seem to like it,” he says, “and it really helps eliminate congestion at the tasting bar.”

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Lorenzo Lizarralde, owner and winemaker at Chateau Aeronautique, relies on large-scale tribute band concerts at his Irish


French Valley Vineyard, Lake Michigan Vintners and Lemon Creek also reported making a shift they now consider permanent from bar-side tastings to seated ights. Reservations, too, are much more widespread than in the pre-COVID days. Taylor Simpson, sales, marketing and distribution manager for Aurora Cellars, says they began using the popular reservation system Tock for paid tastings during COVID, and they’re not looking back. Tracie Roush, co-founder of Petoskey Farms, says her winery also will continue COVID-era reservation and wait list apps for its wine club members so they can avoid waiting in line, and Utter says reservations at Flying Otter won’t be required, but will remain available. Bonnie Hardin, sales and marketing coordinator for Mari Vineyards, says the Old Mission Peninsula winery made a marked shift from large-scale, single-day events that attracted huge crowds to a less frenzied pace, fueled by the implementation of reservations. “As we've grown familiar with only serving smaller groups — 12 people or less — over the last two years, we've enjoyed the calmer, slower style,” she says. “Slowing down our service with reservations has led to more meaningful interactions with our guests, as they appreciate our tasting room without the crowds we've seen in previous years.” According to Owner Susan Braymer, Laurentide Winery will be retaining reservations for indoor tasting experiences for the foreseeable future, and won’t be returning to 100 percent capacity any time soon. The winery also o ers “widely spaced outdoor patio and picnic areas for quiet, bucolic, stress free tasting experiences in the middle of the Leelanau Peninsula,” she says. Outdoors indeed became a popular place for tasters over the course of the pandemic, and many new spaces that sprung up to accommodate demand are here to stay. “Our customers discovered our outdoor capabilities and love it,” says Deb Burgdorf, owner/winemaker at Burgdorf’s Winery in Haslett, where new umbrella-shaded outdoor seats have become the most coveted spots onsite.

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During the pandemic, Brys Estate established its a “Lawn Bar,” a grassy expanse alongside the vineyard for over ow and larger groups. Black Star Farms “greatly expanded” their outdoor areas, with plans to add two rentable wine pavilions at the Suttons Bay locations, says Lopez. Petoskey Farms “expanded and enhanced” their outdoor seating, reports Roush, enlarging their covered outdoor options and supplying electric patio heaters. Fenn Valley in Fennville “dramatically expanded (their) outdoor service footprint” and also instituted “vineyard picnic” options, “which are private locations nestled throughout the vineyards, with acres of social distancing,” says Vice President Brian Lesperance. Both are here to stay. Besides o ering ight packages on trays, Yooper Winery in Menominee created a new outdoor seating space in response to the pandemic — a pair of changes they’ll be keeping long-term. “Customers enjoy using the outdoor area, where they can sit and take their time to sample and have plenty of personal space,” says Vintner John Lucas. “The new menu with ight options allows us to serve many more customers much more quickly, so customers have less wait time and we do not need as big of a sta in the tasting room.”

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In Wyncroft’s case, they already had the outdoor space — it was just a matter of refocusing on it. Owners James G. Lester’s and Daun Page’s 93-acre gated estate in southwest Michigan allowed them to move their tours and tastings from the tight winery facilities to the great outdoors. “We purchased a couple of pagoda tents without sides to provide shade and positioned them on the lawn just outside our garage winery,” explains Lester, who is also the winemaker and grape grower. “Next, we rented a tuxedo trailer toilet, his and hers, with air conditioning, running water, ush toilets and stereo, and parked it next to the tents. This made us COVID-compliant, and we were inundated with guests who were anxious to get out of town and be outdoors safely. Everyone loved it. So we have decided to make that our regular format.” During COVID, Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. Johns, a multi-faceted farm that includes hard cider production, constructed their “Cider Yard,” an outdoor event space featuring seating, water and electricity for food trucks, a stage fashioned from an old wagon and a bar created from a repurposed garden shed. They also eschewed free tastings for paid ights and ceased “carnival-type” activities, says co-owner Dede Beck. And now? “Honestly, aside from taking down a lot of signs and plexiglass, most of our changes are here to stay,” she says. Since COVID restrictions eased, Beck says the team has “focus(ed) on the things that built our farm.” “It’s about families and friends spending time together,” she says. “Although our farm gets very crowded, we felt a sense of calm. The urgency was not there like in the past. We learned so many things we had never thought about until it was removed. I feel like we are a better business now.” Some wineries also bene tted from changes made by their communities to assist small businesses — changes that appear they will outlive the pandemic. Dave Miller, owner/winemaker for White Pine Winery in St. Joseph, says the city implemented a social district requested by downtown businesses, which allows strolling visitors to consume alcohol outdoors within a designated area. The social district currently is in place through December 2023. “It allowed us to sell wine by the glass to go, so we didn't tie up limited indoor occupancy capacity with folks enjoying a glass of wine,” says Miller. “The idea has been popular with guests, and they enjoy being able to enjoy a glass of wine as they walk around town and check out all that St. Joe has to o er.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Cortney Casey is a certified sommelier and co-founder of Michigan By The Bottle, an online community promoting the entire Michigan wine industry. She’s also co-owner of Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room, tasting rooms operated in partnership with multiple Michigan wineries, located in Shelby Township, Royal Oak and Auburn Hills. Contact her at cort@michiganbythebottle.com.

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Port Wine, the Seven Years War, and Michigan

Porto, Portugal

by Jack Costa

It seems somewhat obvious, albeit uncreative, how the Portuguese people of the port city of Porto came to choose the name Port as the moniker of their most prized wine offering to the world. What is not quite so obvious is how this non-conformist wine style has come to be so adored by so many for so many centuries. But to truly understand Port, one must rst understand the British people’s love of wine and their utter distaste for French monarchs. For centuries, England’s frequent and prolonged wars with nearby France presented many hardships and trials, not the least of which was the catastrophic and inhumane interruption of imports of their beloved French wine. The constant series of con icts between the two nations eventually led the British to begin sourcing wines from the more hospitable, but more distant, Kingdom of Portugal. Originally, before the days of FedEx and free shipping with $100 minimum purchases, express shipping meant wine traveled on long overseas journeys in wooden casks that were far from air-tight. These wines’ prolonged exposure to air made them very vulnerable to oxidation and ultimately risked turning the valuable cargo into vinegar. To protect the wine from oxidation, winemakers began adding brandy to the wine barrels before their journeys. Problem solved, French be damned. Eventually, some inventive, or perhaps inept, Portuguese winemaker had the bright idea to add brandy to the wine before the fermentation was fully completed. This addition of alcohol kills the yeast and stops fermentation prematurely, leaving residual sugar in the wine. The resulting wine is the distinctly sweet and aromatic style that we now recognize as Port. One might think as technology advanced and wine began to be transported in air-tight bottles the practice of adding brandy to wine would go the way of Continued on next page

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salted cod. One would be wrong. As it happened, the Brits loved their sweet rich Port wine and were not about to let it go. According to wine critic and author Oz Clarke, Port was an “invention of the British”. As such, Port was here to stay. Port 101 Port’s uniquely rich, sweet, and full-bodied demeanor comes from the fact that it is a forti ed wine; which simply means that a distilled spirit, usually brandy, has been added to it. Most Port wines after being forti ed have an alcohol content of 18-20%. When done well, a ne Port is crafted by carefully balancing its acidity, sugar, and alcohol. With the right amounts of sugar, the ‘hot’ alcoholic sensations from brandy are lessened, while the acidity of the grapes helps to brighten the Ports pro le and reduce the potentially overbearing level of sweetness (a sugar bomb defuser). In Portugal, several grape varieties are used to produce Port including Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cão, Tempranillo, Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional. Styles of Port Vintage vs. Non-Vintage Non-vintage Port wines are made of wines blended from di erent years (vintages) and often have no reference to the year of harvest or years spent in barrels on their labels. Non-vintage Ports are generally less expensive and due to the ability to blend wines, allows producers to create a more consistent product year to year. Vintage Ports, however, are considered distinct in quality and are made from a single vineyard during an exceptional year. Vintage Ports comprise a relatively small amount of Ports produced and as a result, these wines are generally much more expensive. Ruby Port Non-vintage Ruby Ports are blends of di erent vintages and have a bright ruby complexion along with a rich, bright, fruity pro le with dark cherry notes. For those looking to initiate their journey into the world of Port, a non-vintage Ruby port is an a ordable starter that won’t drain your wallet. Vintage Ruby Ports have much the same rich, lively, and youthful characteristics as non-vintage Ruby Ports but, as the name implies, these Ports are bottled from a single year’s vintage rather than a blend of multiple vintages.

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Late Bottled Vintage Ports (LBV) are single-year vintage Ruby Ports that are not blended or bottled right away. Instead, producers barrel age these wines longer, allowing them to mature for 4-6 years before bottling. Ready to drink once bottled, Late Bottled Vintage Ports can o er a more a ordable alternative to those seeking a vintage Port with a little more age. Tawny Port Non-Vintage Tawny Ports begin like Ruby Ports but are barrel-aged for a much longer time. This extended time spent in barrels allows oxygen to slowly transform the wine's ruby red hues into a

golden tawny appearance while also adding a nutty, dried fruit avor, similar to Sherry wines. Nonvintage Tawnys are blends consisting of several di erent years, and are often labeled as either 10, 20, 30, or 40 year Tawny Port. These Tawny Port designations re ect not only the average age of the wine vintages inside the bottle, but the wines must also have characteristics that re ect the age designated on the label, such as taste, color, smell, and mouth feel. Vintage Tawny Port, also known as Colheita Port (Col-heat-uh), is a Tawny Port of a single vintage, which, of course, makes these wines more expensive. Some producers will age their Colheitas for decades, remaining in barrel for 20 years, and in special cases, upwards of 30 years+ before bottling. These wines have intense avors of caramel, nutty dried g, and brown sugar. Madeira: A Delicious Mistake? Named after the Portuguese island of Madeira, this unique wine, as the story goes, came about by accident when barrels of Port were accidentally left aboard a ship after a long hot voyage to the new world. When the ship returned to Madeira with the barrels still on board, all believed the wine to be ruined. Upon tasting the very overheated and oxidized wine the wine producers of Madeira found it to be surprisingly delicious. Today Madeira wine is crafted similarly to Port but with a few distinct twists; the wine is heated, sometimes to temperatures exceeding 125F, and intentionally exposed to a copious amount of oxygen. While heat and oxygen are typically a wine's worst enemy, Madeira’s iconic nutty, baked, and caramel pro le comes from this long exposure to the elements. Madeira wines can also boast avors of brown sugar, toasted walnuts, molasses, cinnamon, and maple. This unique production method makes Madeira fairly indestructible, and is considered by many to be the longest aging wine in the world. In fact, you can still nd drinkable Madeira from the era of George

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Washington!


Michigan Port Wines One might be pressed to nd many similarities between old-world Portugal and new-world Michigan, but one would not be reaching far to suggest that Michigan wine producers have succeeded in bringing honor to the famous Portuguese beverage. While the Portuguese government does not typically allow the use of the word “Port'' on wine labels produced outside their country, they do allow the use of the term if a winery has produced Port before 2006. Michigan's oldest winery, St. Julian, is one such establishment that crafted Port wine for decades. Any winery producing Port-style wines after 2006, unfortunately cannot legally use the ionic term and instead often label their bottles as “Dessert Wine.” Today, dozens of Michigan wineries are crafting delightful examples of Port, not only from wine grapes but also other local fruits like cherries, raspberries, and even apples. St. Julian - “Catherman’s Port” blends the traditional Port-style with modern winemaking practices from Michigan’s oldest winery. Nathaniel Rose Ruby Port - Crafted from overripe Chambourcin grapes, Nathaniel Rose’s Vintage Ruby Port is sure to tickle the fancy of Port lovers. 45 North Forti ed Cherry Wine - Located North of Traverse City, 45 North’s extensive o ering of wines includes a forti ed cherry Port. While some people may turn their nose up to a wine made from fruit other than grapes, the fact remains, it's still tasty. Black Star Farms - Black Star o ers a variety of forti ed Port-style wines, including both a Raspberry and Cherry Port. However, the ‘Sirius Red Dessert Wine’ is their most traditional Port crafted from wine grapes. These are just a few of the many Michigan wineries crafting Port-style wine, so if you’re thinking of priming your palate to Port, just know the locals have managed to create some very stellar examples of the British invention.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Often asked if he’s even old enough to drink, Jack is a writer, educator, and professional wine judge. The Oregon native studied winemaking under mentor Stephen Reustle and occasionally contributes to the award winning blog Wine Folly.

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STOP TO SMELL THE ROSÉ R

by Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro

osé. The word itself conjures images of seaside strolls, grilled seafood and vacation vibes. It’s easy to sip, easy to pair, and

easy to shop for, as most domestic rosé is simply labeled "rosé." It’s even become a grab-and-go item available in cans, boxes, and bottles with corks, pop-tops, and screw-caps. The perfect libation for picnics, cookouts, lunch dates, and beachfront sipping in jaunty hats, rosé is here to stay. Long gone are the days when sweet, sticky, salmon-colored swill dominated the pink wine sector. These days, rosé is produced in myriad ways across the globe using countless varietals and winemaking techniques. In Michigan, everything from the Concord grape’s spicier cousin, Catawba, to Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc is nding its way into pink wines. From blending whites and reds to saignée, where a small portion of the wine is removed after a few hours of maceration, the sky’s the limit for vintners when it comes to rosé, and wine consumers are drinking it all up—literally. Recently, I was fortunate enough to catch up with Karen MacNeil, author of the award-winning book, THE WINE BIBLE, about the world of rosé and how this magical pink-hued elixir has secured its footing at the forefront of the wine scene. Here’s how she weighed in: AM: Do you have any suggestions for a "starter"rosé? I'm thinking of die-hard, dry red wine drinkers who'd usually run the other way when o ered a glass containing pink wine. KMN: The beauty of rosé is that it’s so easy. It’s a wine for drinking, not thinking. So wine lovers can "start" anywhere. That said, I am especially fond of Provencal rosé because Provence is the "mother ship" when it comes to rosé and also because Provencal rosé is bone-dry and crisp, and therefore terri c with just about every food. AM: Any basic advice for pairing rosé? KMN: Pairing with rosé is also easy. Just imagine any dish that has a southern French "spin," and you are set. Also, a little-known fact: rosé is one of the few wines that goes really well with garlic, which is why the French drink it with aioli and bouillabaisse. AM: What was the rst rosé that left an impression on you? KMN: The rosés that I rst got to know were either from southern France or Spain. (Spain, in fact, makes loads of excellent rosé for a song). The other rosés I LOVE are rosé Champagnes. Expensive but sensational. Marc Hebrart is a favorite producer. Rosé Champagne with roast chicken (or any poultry) can’t be beat. AM: Where might vintners look for inspiration when it comes to producing excellent rosé? KMN: Winemakers often want to make rosé out of grapes that, IMO, are too tannic. A rosé of Cabernet or Merlot can come o as too coarse. Rosés made from Mediterranean varieties—Grenache, Carignan, and Cinsaut, often work better.

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You can read more of Ms. MacNeil’s thoughts on rosé and other wines at WineSpeed.com. In the interim, here are three of my top picks for Michigan rosé along with a refreshing summer salad recipe.

Whether you’re serving burrata, crabmeat, grilled sausages, or poultry, rosé loves food. As a matter of fact, Julia Child said, "Rosé can be served with anything." I’ll not disagree. Put on some music, open a bottle or two, and enjoy the simple pleasures of sipping “summer in a bottle.” I’ll raise a glass to you from afar! __________________________ Savory Summer Watermelon Salad 1/4 c. high-quality olive oil 3 tbsp red wine vinegar 4 c. cubed seedless watermelon 2 medium cucumbers, chopped 1 c. crumbled Cotija cheese 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil pinch of sea salt Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with more chopped basil.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Anna Maria is a copywriter based in Santa Barbara County, California. She draws from her experience as a beauty and wellness professional, plant-based cook, and graphic artist to create approachable, educational content. Anna Maria is also a wine writer with a WSET Level 2 with distinction certi cation.

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SHAWNN ANTIEAU VERSINO From Traverse City to the award-winning vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape By Madeleine Vedel

“H

ave you met Shawnn?” Myriam Brémond of Cave St Charles in Châteauneuf-du-Pape asked me as I helped chop

vegetables to add to our dinner of slow-cooked lamb roast in her home, tucked just below the old (new) castle of the pope. “Not as yet. Who is she?” I responded. “She’s my American friend. Our sons are in school together at the lycée. She’s married to Jean-Paul Versino, of Bois de Boursan. And she comes from Michigan, I think from that city where you live, Traverse…??” “What! How is it I’ve never met her?” I’ve been visiting and tasting with friends and guests in Châteauneuf-du-Pape for nearly 25 years, and have been to over 50 of the local wineries – I’ve lost count. So how did I miss meeting Shawnn? I quickly remedied this lapse, inviting her to join me and my rst group at a special lunch at the Cave St. Charles with Guy Brémond and his chef/partner Jean-Claude Altmeyer. Being from her home town I had a special interest in wanting to know Shawnn’s story, and along with it, the history of Domaine Bois de Boursan, the Versino family’s arrival in the area, their progressive acquisition of vineyards, opening of the

Shawnn Antieau Versino

winery (1955 with only 5 hectares), and their preference for continuing to make wine in the traditional “Châteauneuf” style. When Shawnn graduated from Traverse City High School in 1989 she didn’t have a plan for what came next, so she enrolled at the local junior college, Northwestern Michigan College. While taking classes there she got a part-time job at the family run Chateau Grand Traverse winery up the road on Old Mission Peninsula. The creation of Ed O’Keefe, a widely-traveled man who persuaded that the peninsula had the potential to make great wines, the winery was planted in Alsatian and Rhine Valley vinifera varietals. O’Keefe was an early pioneer in growing Riesling and Gamay in the area, and in addition to the time he spent in Germany learning about wine-making, he brought in German specialists both to run his cellar and to intern. It was at CGT that Shawnn discovered a love of wine. There she worked in the tasting room and bottled under Operations

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Manager Terrie McClelland. Her newfound passion led her to enroll in the Hotel & Restaurant Management program at the University of Arizona. Back in Michigan for the summer, she sought out the local restauranteur well-known in the region (and beyond) for his excellent wine cellar: Wes Westhoven of the Rowe Inn in Ellsworth, one of the rst farm-to-table, culinary destinations in Northern Michigan. At the Rowe Inn, sommelier Kurt Van Sumeren took Shawnn under his wing and included her in restaurant tastings, pairing wines for special wine dinners, and encouraged her to make good use of her employee discount to sample some of the restaurant’s impressive cellar. Among those wine pairing dinners was one for the young vintner, Jean-Paul Versino of the Domaine Bois de Boursan. Michigan importer JC Mattis of J&R Distributors brought Jean-Paul and his colleague Bernard Latour of the Domaine de l’Espiguette to the restaurant. Little did Shawnn and Jean Paul know that this would be but their rst meeting. When Shawnn decided to take o a few months from her studies to travel Europe on her own, she focused a good chunk of her time visiting wineries. The former CGT intern Oliver Asberger guided her around his German homeland, and the importer/distributor, JC Mattis furnished her with addresses for many of the wineries he worked with. Introductions in hand, Shawnn toured Germany, Bordeaux, Champagne, Spain & Hungary and, of course, the Rhône Valley. Jean-Paul Versino

Upon learning of her upcoming visit to the region, JeanPaul invited her to stay with him and his family. Over dinner and a few glasses of wine, Shawnn shared her

desire to become a sommelier. Did Jean Paul know of a program with a good reputation? That would accept international students? “There’s the Université du Vin at Suze la Rousse just up the road, about a half hour’s drive from here,” he replied. Enrolling in this prestigious school’s one year program was life-changing, and tough. Shawnn had only two years of beginning French at university when she started the program, but she made up in perseverance for what she lacked in linguistics. Accepting Jean-Paul’s o er of the spare bedroom in his apartment, Shawnn helped out by cooking. Jean-Paul proved the ideal roommate, encouraging and helping where he could, including pulling out the Bescherelle grammar book that every Frenchman keeps handy, from middle school on. “Here, learn these ten verbs tonight” he’d say, and guide her in their usage and pronunciation. In her class of 24, Shawnn was one of three international students. Beyond herself, there was a man from Japan and a woman from Poland; but she was their rst American to complete the program, with the only concession made for her lack of French mastery being permission to write her nal “memoire”, a thirty page term paper, in English. She chose the period of American history that still ba es the French: Prohibition. One can imagine the paper making the rounds of that faculty of wine experts, curious to understand how a nation could inconceivably choose to ban alcohol.

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end of every day, we had 10-12 wines that we tasted blind. Incredible to be able to taste so many things, to learn about the di erent regions. We would have a test every 2-3 weeks where we had to try to assess the grape varietal, region, year, and every time there was a Châteauneuf-du-Pape I would nd it and pinpoint the year – but only with Châteauneuf-du-Pape,” and with a self-deprecating laugh, “Hence why I am here.” Over that year, what had been a friendship blossomed into a couple. “I moved over there to go to school, and never really came back.” She says. However, having promised to work the summer season at the Rowe Inn, Shawnn did return to Northern Michigan for three months, before gathering her belongings and ying back to France to join Jean-Paul and his family for the harvest of 1997. What one might expect (if this were a movie) would be an idyllic scene amidst the early light of fall mornings, turned out to be more than a bit depressing. 1997 was one of those more-than-di cult years when a storm passed through just at the height of the harvest, and rot-inducing mist sat upon the vines. From perfect maturity to covered in powdery mildew in a day. The only worse year in recent history was 2002, when there was literal ooding in the vineyards. The Versinos have a system of grape selection during harvest: the pickers each go out with two buckets (all the grapes are handharvested in Châteauneuf-du-Pape by AOC rules); the good/clean bunches go into one bucket, the lesser into the second. The rst bucket becomes the family’s classic red cuvée, the second bucket goes to the family’s table wine and/or to the local négociant. Shawnn had learned her lesson well in how to handle the grapes during the earlier Syrah harvest, and the more precocious Grenache grapes. Confronted with the moldy Mourvèdre grapes her rst instinct was to toss them all into the second bucket. Jean Paul stayed her hands, showing her how to salvage what was possible, removing the moldy sections from the rest, so that even if only a small amount, the year’s wine would have those notes of sous-bois and rusticity the Mourvèdre contributed. Jean-Paul Versino

Thankfully, 1998 was one of the most beautiful vintages of the century. Today, Shawnn is the full-time partner and collaborator with her husband and his family at Bois de Boursan. They taste the years’ wines together, determine the exact blend of the classic cuvée (though Jean Paul has the deciding vote), work together to sell and distribute, and labor side by side during harvest. When you visit the winery, Jean-Paul - a uent English speaker - describes the labor intensive, pesticide & herbicide free (the winery is one of the rst to adopt organic methods in the region) methods he favors in caring for his vines, as well as the traditional vinifying and aging his wines go through in his cellar. The crew even stomp on the grapes and make use of a very old standing press where grapes are interspersed with mats.

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“It was quite incredible.” Shawnn says of the Université du Vin, “Being able to try so many di erent wines at one sitting. At the


Shawnn Antieau Versino Though a number of neighboring domaines have invested in all the newest equipment, stainless steel, cooling systems and more, working towards a more “international” style, Jean Paul continues to vinify as his father did, aiming to extract richness and nobility from his grapes, with minimal intervention. The Domaine’s vini cation tanks are concrete, embedded into the earth, accessible from above at the entry to the cellar, and below ground. Once both the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations completed, the wine is transferred to the 50 plus year old large oak casks where the wine ages for a minimum of 18 months. For over- ow and the special cuvée there are a handful of 2-6 passage small oak casks in use. Three wines are made for sale, the yearly production of a white (a blend of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Bourbelenc), a vibrant wine, vini ed in stainless steel, about 6% of production (which translates to so few bottles that they tend to sell out by September each year); the Rouge Tradition, structured and earthy, red fruit notes in its early years, representing the majority of the production; and the special “Cuvée de Félix”, a wine made only during the best of vintages, deep and rich with notes of cocoa and black fruit. These are wines to age, to drink with meals of game and meat stews. The second bucket “table wine” is only for - literally – the family table. When asked, Shawnn is adamant that she wouldn’t change her life in Southern France for anything. In fact, her mother has moved over to live with her French family. “Living in France has been enlightening, but not an easy task. The people are so down to earth and always smiling, but don’t let that fool you. If you really want something you have to work for it. Everywhere you look is something old or beautiful that you want to take a picture of. And the food and wine… don’t even get me started!” And, in a land where families are close and businesses hereditary, she and Jean-Paul hope their son Alexis, just now nishing high school, will carry on the family business.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Madeleine Vedel was introduced to the world of wine by her parents, who had a small, but prized wine cellar. While married to a French chef in Provence, she ran food and wine tours for nearly 20 years. She is currently based in Mancelona, honing her cheese, chocolate and pastry skills and happily consuming both local and international wines within her budget.

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JUDGEMENT OF MICHIGAN POSTPONED Supply chain issues, staffing concerns play a role in decision By Greg Tasker

O

ne of the Michigan wine industry’s biggest events -- an annual wine judging and reception -- will not take place this

summer. Organizers of the Judgement of Michigan decided to postpone the event until the summer of 2023 because of supply chain issues and sta ng concerns at the host venue, Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, says Emily Dockery, executive director of the Michigan Wine Collaborative, a nonpro t organization that promotes the state’s wine industry and is a partner in the judging program. “We de nitely wanted to have (the event) in 2022, but it wasn’t in the cards,” Dockery says. “We’re really proud of this event. We just didn’t have the resources available to replicate what we did last year … We’re planning to make 2023 super solid,” The annual judging returned last summer after a hiatus with a new name, new location, new judges, new format and a reinvigorated focus on spreading the word about the quality and variety of wines being produced in the Great Lakes State. Called the Judgement of Michigan, a play on the famous Paris tasting in which unknown California wines bested French wines, the event brought together an all-new, more diverse panel of judges from Michigan and other parts of the country to evaluate wines submitted by about 55 wineries in a blind tasting. The judges represented restaurateurs, distributors, sommeliers, wine retailers, national writers and social in uencers. The Judgement was a successor to the Michigan Wine Competition, which was held for more than 40 years at various locations but no longer exists. That competition was sponsored by the now-defunct Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. Organizers launched the new event last year with a di erent view of judging Michigan wines. While wines were divided by categories, each wine was judged on its own merits, and not against other wines in the same category. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded. Double gold was deemed the highest honor. The Judgement of Michigan was viewed as an opportunity to introduce or reintroduce state-produced wines to relevant judges in the wine community who can help Michigan wine reach more consumers. The hope was the award-winning wines and others in Michigan would nd their way onto restaurant menus and sales portfolios, more store shelves and in the cellars of new consumers. About 350 to 360 wines were evaluated last year -- almost the same as the 2019 competition, under the old format. In all, the judges in 2021 awarded eight Double Gold, 33 Gold, 58 Silver and 76 Bronze medals. The event’s planning committee asked the judging squad to be brutally honest during the evaluation. The judges only awarded medals to wines that deserved recognition. About 50% of the wines were not awarded any type of medal; in the last Michigan competition, only 8% of the wines were not given medals. Even though judging will not take place this summer, the Michigan Wine Collaborative is going ahead with trade events that had been planned as part of the new competition.

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“We’ll be focusing on launching trade events highlighting the winning wineries from 2021 in metropolitan areas throughout 2022, including areas such as Detroit and Grand Rapids,” the Michigan Wine Collaborative said in a statement. “These events will invite active buyers and writers from within the state to taste Michigan wines for their wine sets, lists and media opportunities as well as sessions to educate the trade on Michigan wine and grapes.” Dockery says details are still being worked out but a replica of an industry-only, networking event called Nerd & Nosh (held following the 2021 judging), is being planned at Detroit Vineyards, a winery at Eastern Market in Detroit. The goal is to invite sommeliers, wine buyers, wine writers and others in the industry. A date will be announced. “We want to get the industry more interested in Michigan wines,” Dockery says. “We want to work on creating a larger footprint for Michigan wine in Detroit and elsewhere. In lieu of a tasting evaluation, we are looking for something that could be impactful for Michigan wine sales.” Also in the works is a tasting event at House of Pure Vin, a wine retailer in downtown Detroit. The plan is to have a tasting with some of the winemakers from last year's Double Gold medal winners. A date will be announced. “We want to get people interested in and energized about Michigan wine,” Dockery says.

Emily Dockery

The Judgement of Michigan 2021 Double Gold winners Black Star Farms, Arcturos Winter Harvest Riesling Cherry Creek Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon Forty-Five North Vineyard and Winery, Afterglow (a blend of Riesling and Vignoles) Lemon Creek Winery, Gewurztraminer Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery, Frontenac Blanc St. Julian Winery, St. Julian Solera Cream Winery Verterra Winery, Pinot Blanc Verterra Winery, Late Harvest Riesling

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Greg Tasker is associate editor for Michigan Uncorked and is a former entertainment editor at The Detroit News. He is a professional journalist with extensive writing and editing experience. Specialties include travel writing and editing, Michigan wines, business, automotive, features.

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Between the Vines Ellen Landis, CS, CSW Good Harbor Vineyards | 2020 Tribute Chardonnay | Leelanau Peninsula The Simpson family-owned winery o ers this barrel-aged Chardonnay in tribute to the late founder/winemaker Bruce Simpson. I appreciate the silken texture of this exhilara ng Chardonnay, along with its fruity essence, and ne balance. Crunchy apples, nicely managed oak, hints of bu erscotch, and bright lemon accents decorate the palate through its lingering close. SRP: $25 | Food pairing: Grilled ham/provolone cheese panini | www.goodharbor.com Le Foot Charley | 2020 Le Caban Riesling | Old Michigan Peninsula Impressive brightness and purity dazzles the senses with this energizing Riesling. Juicy ripe peaches, hints of apricot preserves, lemon verbena, and minerality create show stopping avors swirling with vivacity on the palate. Hints of sweetness and bracing acidity keeps it pris nely balanced from the rst tantalizing sip to the lingering last one. SRP: $20 | Food pairing: Crab phyllo cups | www.le footcharley.com Le Foot Charley | 2020 Kerner | Old Mission Peninsula The perfumed aroma of a fresh bouquet of summer white owers leads the parade for this lively, dry wine. Kerner, a cross of Trollinger and Riesling, is a white Vi s vinifera grape with German origins. Mul layered and invigora ng, it broadcasts a baske ul of stone fruit, Meyer lemon, hints of golden raspberries, ripe Bartle pears, and a subtle touch of herbs. The fruity elements are enhanced by the airy texture and nice balance, and the nish is persistent. SRP: $25 | Food pairing: Lemon chicken pasta. | www.le footcharley.com 45 North Vineyards & Winery | 2018 Veritas | Leelanau Peninsula This avorsome red blend, composed of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot, leads with an alluring aroma c. It con nues to excite the palate with a rich texture carrying purple plums, roasted red pepper hints, saddle leather, black cherries, blueberries, barrel spice, and roasted marshmallows to all points on the palate. Smooth and well balanced as it makes its way to a pleasing, li ed nish. SRP: $45 | Food pairing: Spaghe bolognese. | www.forty venorth.com Detroit Vineyards Woodward & Vine | 2020 Royal Stag Farms Vineyard Gewürztraminer | Michigan This deligh ully fragranced Gewürtz gets the juices owing at rst whi . Fermented on the skins for 22 days, avors of dried apricots, orange rind, angostura bi ers, oolong tea, and fresh cracked nuts unwind onto the palate in demonstra ve fashion. Bone dry with crackling acidity, the wine remains vitalizing through the expressive nish. SRP: $28 Food pairing: Pork tenderloin kka masala | www.detroitvineyards.com Detroit Vineyards | 2020 ‘Frais’ Altonen Vineyard Cabernet Franc | Michigan A delicate scent of purple bluebell owers rises from the glass. The palate bursts with harmonizing avors of brambleberries, cranberry/raspberry compote, earthy tones, a dash of savory herbs, and a sugges on of creamy roasted red pepper sauce, neatly framed by rm tannins. Neutral French oak aging adds further dimension as the wine glides smoothly to the memorable nale. SRP: $32 | Food pairing: Herbed lamb kabobs | www.detroitvineyards.com Brengman Brothers | 2019 Ar st Series Viognier | Leelanau Peninsula A citrus blossom aroma opens the door for this sophis cated Viognier. Think bi ng into a fresh-picked yellow Clingstone peach on a warm summer day. Flavors of apricot jam, honeycomb, and orange zest interlace with peaches and tropical fruit. Aging in neutral French oak gives it a pleasing round mouthfeel, and the balancing acidity keeps the wine in ne tune all the way through. SRP: $30 | Food pairing: Grilled peach and burrata cros ni | www.brengmanbrothers.com

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Brengman Brothers | 2019 Right Bank | Leelanau Peninsula This Bordeaux style blend really hits the mark with its engaging aroma c and deep structure. Layers of black currants, purple plums, sun-dried tomatoes, cedar, earthiness, tobacco, hints of fresh ground mul -colored peppercorns, and oak spice coat the palate. Excellent balance and a rm backbone of tannins suggest cellar-worthiness, while also approachable now. SRP: $45 | Food pairing: Sirloin beef s r fry | www.brengmanbrothers.com Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery | 2017 Reserve Chardonnay | Leelanau Peninsula This richly textured Chardonnay has all the right stu . Highly expressive aroma cs speak clearly of the variety, and the entry is pure and elegant. Well de ned layers of Honeycrisp apples, juicy Bartle pears, Meyer lemon accents, a kiss of bu er roasted almonds, and oak nuances (aged 22 months in French barrels) unfold. Ideal balancing acidity keeps it fresh and shimmering through the long nish. SRP: $30 | Food pairing: Citrus glazed chicken wings | www.bellago.com French Valley Vineyards | 2016 Cabernet Franc/Merlot | Leelanau Peninsula Deep, dark and delicious is this rive ng blend of 58% Cabernet Franc and 42% Merlot. Spice-infused black plum jam, Bing cherries, a trace of earthiness, vanilla bean, cocoa powder dusted blueberries, and brilliantly managed barrel spice meld seamlessly as the wine traverses the palate. Impeccably balanced and polished with well-integrated tannins, and the lipsmacking nish is blissful. SRP: $39 | Food pairing: Beef ragu pappardelle | www.fvvineyard.com Winery at Black Star Farms | 2020 Arcturos Dry Riesling | Michigan The perfumed oral aroma draws you straight into the glass, and this wine is equally magical in the mouth. Sailing gracefully across the palate are layers of succulent nectarines, crunchy Granny Smith apples, honeysuckle nectar, minerality, hints of saline, and a pop of lemon-lime ice. Crisp and pure, it simply dances on the tongue, and the long and zesty nish never wavers. SRP: $18 | Food pairing: Cilantro lime chicken pasta | www.blackstarfarms.com Ciccone Vineyards & Winery | 2020 Gewürztraminer | Leelanau Peninsula The wildly fragrant oral aroma c engages the senses, opening the door to a rich, round, well balanced palate. Melodious layers of lychee, lemon bars, honeysuckle, fresh cut Sunkist oranges, lavender, and a pinch of spice interplay with lively acidity. Silky and re ned, and the upli ed tropical fruit nish carries beyond the upli ing nal sip. SRP: $27 Food pairing: duck à l’orange | www.ciccone.com St. Julian Winery | NV Sweet Nancie | Lake Michigan Shore If you fancy a sweet sipper, this sparkling gem cra ed of Tramine e will be right up your alley. Ripe tropical fruit and citrusy elements on the nose are engaging. Flavors of succulent peaches, lemon meringue pie, fresh sliced pineapple, and mango salsa ow brightly across the palate. The balance is spot on, and the vibrant, sunny nish is deliciously sa sfying. SRP: $21.99 | Food pairing: Peach pound cake | www.stjulian.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ellen Landis, CS, CSW, is a published wine writer, certified sommelier, wine educator and professional wine judge. She spent four years as a sommelier at the Ritz Carlton and sixteen years as Wine Director/ Sommelier at the award winning boutique hotel she and her husband built and operated in Half Moon Bay, CA. They recently sold the hotel to devote more time to the world of wine. Contact Ellen at ellen@ellenonwine.com

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◀ Wine Barrel Lazy Susan Toast your family with this custom Lazy Susan, made from real wine barrels. Customize it with your very own "vineyard" name (i.e., your family name), plus a barrel number (think anniversary date, house number, lucky number…). Handmade in Arkansas. Available at : https://tinyurl.com/y2sec6yw | MSRP: $175

Wine Barrel Watch French and Austrian oak barrels are transformed into a wearable work of art for wine lovers. This aged wood is combined with stainless steel links to create a handsome wrist band for vino lovers with exquisite taste. Available at https://tinyurl.com/bdt3zt4k | MSRP: $299

◀ Wine Barrel Side Table Reclaimed wine barrels give this table a lived-in look that can’t be fabricated. Drink it all in—the authentic reclaimed wood, the modern hairpin legs, the just-right size... Wouldn’t this table be a nice pairing with your current decor? Available at https://tinyurl.com/bdctkev3 | MSRP: $240

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