Spring signifies fresh maple syrup, morel hunting, and farmers markets – and the uncorking of Michigan’s newest wine vintage. April is Michigan Wine Month, a celebration of the 2012 vintage, handfuls of palatable tasting events, and release of the new Michigan Wine Country magazine.
Since autumn’s harvest, winemakers have nurtured crushed wine grapes in steel tanks and oak barrels, coaxing the flavors to reach their potential. This month, vintners share the taste of 2012 in a variety of new wines, including European varietals, like Pinot Grigio; French-American hybrids, like Vignoles; and special blends. Visit wine tasting rooms and taste the 2012 white wines, and new red wine releases from previous vintages.
Metro Detroiters have a distinct opportunity to taste 2012 wines. Attend the Michigan Wine Showcase at The Rattlesnake Club on April 15 to meet vintners and representatives from more than 20 wineries. Stroll, mingle, and taste 2012 wines and delicious appetizers from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Save on the ticket price if you order online.
Events celebrating Michigan wine are scheduled throughout April. Your best calendar source for events is michiganwines.com. This is where you can also request your free 2013 Michigan Wine Country magazine, freshly released with a listing of wineries, regional maps, and wines that vintners are particularly excited for you to savor. Plus, get insight into destinations and discover what’s new at many wineries.
April winemaker news
Winemaker Joe Herman of Karma Vista Vineyards in Coloma says his 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and 2012 Cha Cha Chardonnay will be among the first of his wines to be released. Also seek out his “killer” 2011 Stone Temple Pinot Noir and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. He says to look for the 2012 reds in subsequent years. “We have tasted them in the tanks and barrels. They are going to be legendary.”
Vintner Heather Price of Sandhill Crane Vineyards of Jackson says new releases will be unveiled each Saturday of April. Look for the 2011 Proprietor’s Reserve Sur lie Traminette, and 2012 Vignoles, Blushing Crane and Riesling. Winemaker Holly Balansag says the 2012 is a “really nice vintage.” Her favorite white is the Vignoles. She says, “It’s amazing on its own… it’s dry, fruity, and not too acidic.” Balansag is also pleased with the estate Chancellor and Lake Michigan Shore Cabernet and Syrah, which will be aging in the cellar for the next year or two.
This month, Brys Estate Vineyards and Winery is releasing the 2012 Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Naked Chardonnay, Dry Riesling, Riesling Gris, and Pinot Noir Riesling, as well as the 2011 Merlot.
“Overall, the 2012 wines rock!” says Brys Winemaker Coenraad Stassen. He describes the wines as 100-percent estate grown with unparalleled quality. “I am very excited about the Dry Riesling and the 2011 reds as well: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cab/Merlot blend and Signature Red.”
Michigan Wine Month is a great way to pay tribute to our state’s hardworking vintners crafting high-quality wines that reflect the region’s climate and terroir. Attend an event, visit a tasting room, or buy Michigan wine at your local market. A toast to the new vintage!