April is Michigan Wine Month! Last week, we learned about the flavor profiles of spring wines that local wineries recommended (read it here). This week, we’ll hear about the winemakers that created those, as well as some background on the names.
The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail has 19 wineries, each with something different to offer.
Read on to find out about the winemakers of the recommended spring wines, as well as some of the stories behind the names.
White Pine Winery: Pinot Grigio
Dr. Dave Miller, the owner of White Pine Winery, shared how White Pine Winery is creating their spring wines.
I produce all of our wines through a custom crush arrangement with Fenn Valley Vineyards. That means we supply the grapes and they make the wine to our specs. We will begin processing fruit in our own production facility this fall and plan to do mostly reds in the beginning. The wine is named for the grape from which it is produced - what's called a "varietal" wine.
Round Barn Winery: Sauvignon Blanc
Matthew Moersch created this crisp and elegant white wine with tropical fruit character. It’s a Sauvignon Blanc, named after the grape varietal.
Lemon Creek Winery: 2013 Pinot Noir
Winemaster Jeff Lemon created this award-winning Pinot Noir. It’s a varietal, so the name refers to the year and type of grape.
Lazy Ballerina Winery: Sweet Nita’s Red
Lauren Kniebes and Melanie Owens, co-owners of Lazy Ballerina Winery, shared a little more about the name of their recommended spring wine.
Sweet Nita’s Red is a fruity Concord blend inspired by our grandmother. Growing up in Coloma, Michigan we watched our grandmother make wine from the Concord grapes grown on the family vineyard. We feature two of “Grandma Nita’s” inspired recipes in our tasting room including a similarly titled “Sweet Nita’s White” as a tribute to her. The label of the two wines features a family painting of the old barn on the family farm alongside their classic ballerina theme.
Gravity Winery: Blueberry
Gravity's own wine maker JJ Hischke made this recommended spring wine; the name is straightforward, coming from the “delicious berries used to make it”!
Free Run Cellars: Mezzo
Matthew Moersch created this white wine, perfect for springtime with examples of peach & mango. Literal translation of “mezzo” in Italian means middle, moderate or half which is perfect for this wine that is not dry and not truly sweet.
Dablon Winery: 2015 Rose
Rudy Shafer & Chad Hartline, winemakers at Dablon Winery, created the first Rose from the estate. The winery & Dablon label pays tribute to Claude Dablon. A French explorer & Jesuit priest, he was one of the first Europeans to arrive in Michigan, when it was still part of New France in the 1600’s. History describes Father Dablon as making wine from grapes found in the New World.
Baroda Founders: Luce Del Sole
Gunnar Olson shared the story behind the Luce Del Sole wine.
Len Olson (my father) made the first blend in 2009, patterned after the wine he served to President Ford and German Chancellor in the mid 70’s. We came up with the name Luce Del Sole which translate to “rays of the sun”, when a friend of my father’s stated “That it tasted like liquid sunshine”. Liquid Sunshine sounded like dish detergent, so my sister suggested a French translation of “rays of the sun”.
12 Corners: Blue Creek Semi-Dry Rose
Glen Greiffendorf made this recommended spring wine, named after a creek along the border of the 12 Corners Vineyards properties. As with the estate's name (12 Corners), Blue Creek is an homage to the area we call home. Along with other wines such as River Stone Red, Beach Cottage White, and South Pier Red, 12 Corners’ wines tend to point to the aquatic wonders of Southwest Michigan.
Click on the logos below to see the wineries' websites, and find out where their wines are available.
Next Wednesday, we’ll learn about what foods to pair these wines with! Look for that post on April 27th. If you’re curious about the flavor profiles of these wines, you can check out last week’s blog post here.