Page 75 - Visitors Guide 18
P. 75

New look and taste for old time favorites
By Lorri Hathaway
Special to the Enterprise
When selecting a bottle of wine at a restaurant or from the local wine shop, most people have a go-to varietal such as Pinot Grigio or Merlot.
It makes sense to play it safe when forking out cash.
Wine tasting, however, is the perfect time to explore new  avors without committing to a whole bottle.
You may discover many more varietals you love or, even more surprisingly, rediscover a few common wines you thought you didn’t like. Several traditional wines are showing up in tastings rooms with a whole new image.
On the Leelanau Peninsula, there are three wines in particular that come to mind for rediscovering: Chardonnay, Riesling and Rosé. At county wineries, you’ll  nd new styles of each that are much different than you may think. And you
may  nd a new favorite!
Not a Chardonnay fan? It’s time to give the popular wine another taste.
Several Leelanau winemakers are crafting “naked” Chardonnays, which requires
a process of fermenting wine
in steel tanks rather than in traditional oak barrels. Most people who think they don’t like Chardonnay dislike the strong oak taste that is not actually a character of the grape varietal itself. Instead, it’s introduced while aging oak barrels.
Aging in steel tanks brings out the true nature of the grape and offers a totally new perspective on the popular varietal.
“We decided to produce Chardonnay and unoaked Chardonnay in particular because we feel that it is
a grape varietal which can beautifully allow the terroir to
Tom Knighton, owner of Blustone Vineyards in Lake Leelanau, with his double-gold winning Rose’
be expressed unadorned by oak in uence,” explains Susan Braymer, owner of Laurentide Winery in Lake Leelanau, and whose 2016 Chardonnay recently took a gold medal at the Michigan Wine Competition.
“Naked Chardonnays don’t wear makeup and like great Chablis style wines, are clean
and fresh with a bracing mineral  nish taking you back to the soil. In our case, Leelanau soil,” she added.
However, if you love the oaky taste of Chardonnay, no worries. Local winemakers are crafting many great oaked Chardonnays as well.
(Continued on Page 76)
willow vineyard
Michigan's smallest winery with the biggest view Celebrating 20 years
10702 E. Hilltop Road, Suttons Bay
May – October Daily 12 - 6
November – December Friday & Saturday 12 - 5 January – March Call Ahead
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.

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