Page 76 - Visitors Guide 18
P. 76

Common wines
shed sweet, add body
NOT YOUR GRANDMA’S ROSÉ
When people think of Rosé, they often turn back to the sweet, pinkish wines consumed in the 1970s and 1980s, which were actually white Zinfandel. The increasingly popular style of Rosé today is a much drier and only a cousin of your grandma’s Rosé.
“In the last few years, it was hard to get people to try a Rosé because they thought it was going to be too sweet,” explains Dan Matthies, owner of Chateau Fontaine in Lake Leelanau. “When Lucie (Dan’s wife) and I wanted to make
a great Rosé, we ventured to Provence, which is all they drink there, to study how they make it. We learned a lot and recently went back to hone our styles.”
Incidentally, Chateau Fontaine’s 2016 Laughing Waters Rosé, which can be sampled in their tasting room, achieved Double Gold and Best of Class at the 2017 Michigan Wine Competition.
“Laughing Waters is very lush and refreshing.” describes Matthies. “The fruit tones are balanced with hints of cherry, strawberry and raspberry. It’s a
great picnic wine that goes so well with pulled pork or BBQ or by itself. If you love to drink Pinot Noir, try Pinot Noir Rosé in the summer because it so cool and refreshing.”
Furthermore, Dan and Lucie’s Rosé received great accolades from renowned national judge Ellen Landis
who took a sip of the wine and instantly stated “ it was the
best I’ve ever tasted.” And, after judging the wine in the competition, described the wine as “expressive aroma, fresh raspberries, citrus accents, complex, kick of herbs on the persistent  nish; Stunning!”
Tom Knighton of Blustone Vineyards in Lake Leelanau was inspired by Frensh styles in deciding to produce Rosé.
“I remember purchasing Lancers Rosé when I was much younger because I wanted to impress a girl that I knew how
to order wine,” says Knighton, smiling. “It also had a cool bottle that she could take home and stick a candle in. A bit later in life, my wife, Joan, and I were reintroduced to Rosé while
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DRY RIESLING ON THE RISE
So often a response heard from wine drinkers who don’t prefer Riesling is, “I don’t like sweet wines.” Traditionally, Rieslings have been produced by leaving behind residual sugar to balance out the high acidity of the grape, giving it a sweet reputation.
Today, however, there is a rising trend toward producing drier styles of Riesling.
“It’s not always easy to get people who prefer dry wines
to try our Rieslings,” explains Paul Hamelin, owner of Verterra Winery in Leland. “They expect them to be sweet.”
Leelanau Peninsula winemakers are producing a myriad of dry Rieslings, giving the wine mixed personalities. They are producing a wide range of Rieslings from dry to very sweet.
As Leelanau wines have
a reputation for being food- friendly due to their acidity, Riesling is a great wine for pairing with all kinds of foods. Dry Riesling pairs well with light meats and  sh, and sweet Rieslings with spicy dishes such as Mexican and Asian foods. For dessert, pair a late harvest Riesling, a very sweet style, with dessert or as a dessert itself.
Leelanau County has garnered international attention and numerous accolades as a top producer of Riesling. Unlike California, where the climate
is too warm for the varietal to excel, the peninsula has the ideal climate.
“We grow amazing Rieslings,” shares Hamelin. ”We have perfect growing conditions, bright sunny days and cool nights, all allowing the grapes to ripen perfectly.”
Incidentally, Verterra’s 2016 Dry Riesling took double gold and Best of Class in last year’s Michigan Wine Competition.
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76
Leelanau Visitors Guide 2018
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