Page 21 - Color Tour 2018
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benefiting the wine,” shares Sabbatini. “Vines actively regulate their growth in relation to the amount of water available in the soil. Water availability dramatically affects vine vegetative growth and fruit composition. Moderate water stress like (occurred) this year reduces vegetative growth and helps vines achieve the appropriate balance between growth and yield and dramatically improves the qual- ity.”
Just as county vintners have sunk their roots deep into Leelanau, so have their grapes.
Doug Matthies, whose parents planted the  rst grapes for Chateau Fontaine in 1987, said those long roots bene t established vines during dry years.
“The grapes like dry weather,” Matthies said. “Grapes are probably the most resilient crop to drought. They don’t like wet ground.
Indeed, while county corn farm- ers harvested half their normal crop and fruit crops never sized out, the 20- to 60-foot vines of grapes tapped veins of water deep in the ground.
“The only places where we’re really seeing issues is in the one-
and two-year-old plantings. It won’t really affect any grape quality...”
The cool climate of the Leelanau Peninsula, though tempered by winds from Lake Michigan, can be more challenging for grapes than warmer climates where conditions are typically mild and consistent from year to year. Michigan vine- yards, in general, are more vulnera- ble to low crop yield, damage or even destruction, which keeps winemakers on their toes anticipat- ing the newest challenge.
This summer that weather chal- lenge had an upside. Local wine- makers are anticipating yet another great vintage.
“2018 has been an incredibly hot dry summer for northern Michigan,” shares Sam Simpson of Good Harbor Vineyards and Aurora Cellars. “We have had good devel- opment for our mature vineyards and could be looking at one of the best red wine crops we have ever had in Northern Michigan.”
So, as you make your way along the Wine Trail during harvest, enjoy the wines of vintages past and give salute to the 2018 harvest.
It looks like one of the best.
Chateau Fontaine
Distinctive wines offered for your enjoyment in Leelanau County
2290 s. french road
lake leelanau, mi 49653
Tasting room open 12-5 Daily • May - November
(231) 256-0000
Dec, Jan, Feb • Weekends or by appointment
March & April • Friday - Sunday
2290 S. French Road, Lake Leelanau, Mi 49653
(231) 256-0000
Take M-204 west of the village of Lake Leelanau, 1 mile. Turn left on S. French Rd. Tasting room is located 3 miles south on the right.
Northern Michigan's Premier Wine and Culinary Destination.
Ignite your senses! Savory culinary experiences paired with regionally expressive wines.
Call 231.944.1270 | 10844 E. Revold Rd., Suttons Bay
Winery and Tasting Room Luxury Inn
Hearth & Vine Café Hiking Trails
Fish Boils and Paella Nights Harvest Dinners
Estate and Wine Tasting Tours Meeting & Event Spaces
Call 231.944.1300 | 360 McKinley Rd. East, Traverse City
Winery and Tasting Room just minutes from Traverse City Surrounded by gorgeous vineyard and water views
leelanau color tour 2018

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