Thursday, July 22, 2010

So far...

... we've done a couple of wine tastings. Yes, there are vineyards in Michigan! Traverse City is almost exactly at the 45th parallel, which apparently is where some of the world's best wine regions (like Bordeaux) are located. Unfortunately Michigan can't boast any wines like that, but we have some that are pretty good! I do not, however, recommend any of our red wines, and not just because I prefer white, but because they are not good. Don't waste your money. The best wines from the area are reislings or specialty cherry flavored wines and liquors.

We drove up Old Mission Point Peninsula and stopped at two different vineyards. There are probably a dozen different ones in the area, but the two we stopped at are supposed to be the best. We started at Chateau Grand Traverse and were not at all impressed with their offerings. We tried wines that had won all different awards but honestly, most of them weren't that good! We ended up buying a cherry riesling and a regular riesling.

We also stopped at Chateau Chantal, which is on a hill in the middle of the peninsula with fantastic views on both sides to the East and West Grand Traverse Bays.

Antique wine pressing equipment

We were much more impressed by the offerings at Chantal and bought a riesling, a pinot blanc, a sparkling cherry wine, and a cherry port. I'm glad that we supported Michigan businesses and that we have all these good wines to drink!

Michigan is the number one producer of tart cherries in the US, and the cherries are mostly grown in the Traverse City area, which prides itself on being the "cherry capital." That's why all of these cherry wines and other cherry products are such a big draw. More on that in another post. We ended our trip by stopping at a roadside cherry stand and buying these amazing cherries, some of the best I've ever had. Fresh and local really is better! The owner told us it's the oldest fruit stand on the peninsula.

The bright red cherries are tart cherries and you use them to make pies

Sweet cherries and golden cherries. I'd never had golden cherries before. They're a little bit tart, very delicious!


Loislane said...

Since when are you allowed to imbibe in spirits!!!???

Zhu said...

Lovely scenery!

I don't really drink anything (a glass of wine once a year doesn't really count, does it?) and I can't tell WalMart wine from Chateau Lafitte. Such a shame for a French!

getyourselfconnected said...

I don't drink anymore, course I don't drink any less!

Looks really fun, who new Michigan had so much going on?

au soleil levant said...

YDN - since I decided I could :)

Zhu - you're a disgrace to your motherland! LOL, I think it's funny, actually. And think of all the money you save on booze!

GYSC - It's a fascinating state! Wait til you hear about all the local history I learned!

getyourselfconnected said...

Well I love history (what if history was HERstory?) so I look forward to being enlightened!

So glad you are whooping it up this summer, rock on girl!

Anonymous said...

YUM! I'm so jealous of the stone/pip fruits, I love them. Enjoy your holidays, it looks like you're having a brilliant time.

au soleil levant said...

Thanks GYSC and Kim!