Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wine Tours

I'm going to start off by telling you guys that my internet issues weren't over the last time I posted!  We lost power on Monday night.  What are the odds?  Luckily it was only out for about five hours, but really!  The internet gods must be angry with me, but I love the internet and don't know what I did to hurt their feelings!  In any case, hopefully there won't be any more issues with my internet!

Back to my trip up north.  The Traverse City area is actually on the same latitude as Bordeaux, so there are several different wineries, but the quality of most of it isn't as good as the stuff from Bordeaux.  They do make excellent rieslings though, and since my favorite kind of wine is sweet white wine, I indulged!  I'm not as keen on red wine (of course I avoid the wine that's supposed to be good for you!) and the ones up north aren't that good anyway, so I only sampled whites, champagnes (okay, sparkling wines, I know that champagne is technically only from a certain area of France) and a rose or two.

Our first stop was Chateau Chantal, which has my favorite riesling, the Select Harvest Riesling (not sure why it's labelled as Late Harvest on that page).  They also have a wonderful sparkling cherry wine and cherry wine without bubbles that are delicious, and very specific to the area since it is the cherry capital.  The best part about visiting Chateau Chantal is the wonderful location.  It's on a hill on the Old Mission Peninsula which divides Grand Traverse Bay in half and you can see both the East and West Bay.

                                                                     The East Bay

                                                               The West Bay

Our next stop was Brys, which was not as good as Chantal, but they had some nice wines.  We also stopped at Left Foot Charley, which is a newer winery, and they specialize in white wines.  They mostly weren't sweet enough for me, but they were good.

Our last stop was the Grand Traverse Distillery, which makes vodka and whiskey.  We took a tour, which lasted a little bit too long for me, so I guess I must be a little ADD these days.  They make an extremely pure product with very specific steps, like what type of barrel they use and how many times they drain the water.  It was interesting to learn about how into the process they are.  Their products have won a lot of awards too, and they haven't been around very long, so that's great for them.  The tasting was kind of funny because you got these mini-shot glasses to try the drink with, and it was me, my parents, and my brother who just turned 21, having a shot party.  The problem for me was that the vodka was just way too strongly alcoholic to have plain without a mixer, so I had a sip and gave the rest to my brother.  It was very good though, and we bought one of each of their offerings.

Winery tours and tastings are really fun, and definitely an important part of your trip to Traverse City!  Don't expect the best wines you've ever tasted, but you'll definitely find some good ones.        


getyourselfconnected said...

Wow, looks amazing! I would have liked the whiskey part of the trip :)

Zhu said...

So picturesque!

Even though I'm not a wine drinker, I like to visit wineries and wineyards because it's a great photo op :-)

au soleil levant said...

GYSC - I think you would have enjoyed the distillery tour as well as the whiskey tasting! No robots involved, just normal machines :)

Zhu - I'd love to see you take pictures at Chateau Chantal, I know yours would be fantastic. And you aren't a wine drinker? No wonder you had to leave France! ;)