It’s Michigan Wine Month, an annual celebration of local wines and the hardworking winemakers who produce them. Each year, new releases and wine festivities in April kick off the newest vintage of wine country.
Michigan Wine Country Magazine
Igniting the season each year is the release of Michigan Wine Country, the state’s official wine touring magazine. The must-have guide features touring maps, tasting tips, winemaker recommendations, regional festivals and events, the 2011 Michigan Best of Class winners, and intriguing articles with the scoop on what’s happening in wine country. View the magazine online and request your free copy at michiganwines.com. With the magazine in hand, there’s no better time to get into the tasting rooms and get more acquainted with Michigan wines.
New Wine Releases
Each year, wineries release both new vintages and new varietals. Wines on the rise this year are Gewürztraminer, Dry Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Dry Rosé. Also, fruit wines and hard ciders are rapidly expanding.
Among the many interesting releases: a Sauvignon Blanc by Fenn Valley Vineyards of Fennville. Limited in Michigan, Sauvignon Blanc is quickly gaining popularity in America for its dry, crisp flavor and great balance that pairs well with a variety of foods. An even more uncommon varietal is Viognier, a French-style white wine being released at Chateau Fontaine of Lake Leelanau. In Suttons Bay, Chateau de Leelanau has crafted an intriguing peach-infused Chardonnay called Peach Fuzz.
During Michigan Wine Month, many wineries host celebratory events. Find events at michiganwines.com or join the fun at one of these large regional events:
Northern Loop Wine Release
Visit the 10 northern wineries of Leelanau Peninsula for the Northern Loop Wine Release on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be a wine judge for the inaugural People’s Choice Awards. Get details at the Northern Loop Facebook page.
What’s Cooking Detroit
The Palace of Auburn Hills
Spend the day sipping wines at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday, April 21, from noon to 7 p.m. for What’s Cooking Detroit. This star-studded event showcases the talents of renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs, and culinary personalities including Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s Cake Boss and Kitchen Boss. Enjoy cooking demonstrations, hands-on workshops, food samplings, wine tasting and pairings, contests, and seasonal recipes. Visit www.whatscookingdetroit.com for details.
Michigan Wine Celebration
Travel along southeast Michigan’s Pioneer Wine Trail on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, and get a small gift at each winery. Also enjoy a featured wine paired with a delicious appetizer or dessert prepared by a local chef. www.pioneerwinetrail.com
Michigan Wine Showcase
The Rattlesnake Club
Master Sommeliers Claudia Tyagi and Madeline Triffon team up to present a hand-selection of award-winning Michigan wines on Monday, April 30, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rattlesnake Club in Detroit. Sip wines paired with culinary fare, and chat with Michigan vintners about new releases from the 2011 vintage. www.michiganwines.com
In honor of Michigan Wine Month, let’s cheer to the hardworking winemakers who handcraft delicious wines grown in our local soils for us to enjoy!