Michigan’s first joint wine tasting room, featuring wines from six Michigan wineries, is opening in December in Shelby Township in Macomb County. Shannon and Cortney Casey of Michigan By The Bottle have partnered with the wineries to create a new venture called Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room. The new tasting room will feature wines by the flight.
Flights will include wines from Chateau Aeronautique of Jackson, Chateau de Leelanau of Suttons Bay, Domaine Berrien Cellars of Berrien Springs, Gill’s Pier Vineyard and Winery of Northport, Peninsula Cellars of Traverse City, and Sandhill Crane Vineyards of Jackson. A wine flight is a number of small wine pours that enable tasters to compare varietals, vintages, and regions. Some of the flights will be accompanied by small bites of chocolates and cheeses. Wine sales by the bottle and case will also be available.
“We just fell in love with the industry and wanted to expose really great wines to the Detroit market,” says Cortney Casey. Cortney is leaving her newspaper job of 11 years to work in the tasting room full time. She and her husband, Shannon, have operated their Michigan By The Bottle website and online community for three years, avidly promoting the Michigan wine industry through videos, podcasts, Twitter, and the development of a mobile app.
Cortney is excited to be working with the six family-owned wineries. “They’re hidden gems of Michigan. We’re big fans of these wineries and the passionate people making highly acclaimed wines.”
Wally and Katie Maurer of Domaine Berrien Cellars are thrilled to bring their estate wines to the Detroit metro area. “Shannon and Cortney are such great ambassadors for Michigan wines, and we were honored when they asked us to be a part of this new venture,” Katie says. The Maurers are most excited to showcase their Pinot Noir in Michigan’s largest metro region.
Matt Gregory of Chateau de Leelanau agrees. “We were on board from the start,” he says. “This is an opportunity to get our product in the hands of people we typically see just once a year in our northern Michigan tasting room.”
To kick off Chateau de Leelanau’s new presence in metro Detroit region, Gregory is releasing his new 2011 Pinot Noir in the Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room before its release in northern Michigan. He is also excited to introduce the winery’s longstanding varietal wine Bianca to metro Detroiters. “The 2011 vintage has an unbelievable apricot taste,” he says. Gregory thinks Bianca will fit well in a semi-dry to dry white wine flight and says its unique tropical and citrus characteristics will surprise people.
Gregory plans to visit the new tasting room often during its initial grand opening period to greet new customers. Year-round, the Caseys plan on hosting special events that include winemaker meet-and-greets, art exhibits, book signings, and catered dinners. “We hope a visit to our tasting room will inspire people to visit the wineries, visit the land and experience what Michigan wineries have to offer,” Cortney says.
The grand opening is targeted for mid-December. The tasting room is at 45645 Hayes Road, north of Hall Road in the Hayes Center Shoppes in Shelby Township.