Pentamere Winery in downtown Tecumseh offers a unique look at the winemaking process. A sawed-out opening in the main tasting room floor entices visitors to peer downward over railings at the enormous stainless steel tanks that sit below. Most will ponder how the vintners cleverly shoehorned the tanks into the tightly spaced 1880s-built store.
Pentamere Winery is a collaboration of six vintners — friends who caught the winemaking bug. They opened the winery and tasting room in May 2002 after renovating a former restaurant into a charming, modern winery with loads of character. The winery was initiated by Dan and Maia Measel who coaxed their buddies – Nathan Sparks and Peter Sparks, who are brothers, and Ed and Annie Gerten – to get involved.
Their focus on working with vineyards of the Great Lakes region enables them to use myriad grapes for unique wine blends, as well as craft stylish traditional European wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. You can sample the wines in the storefront tasting room where brick walls are ornamented with artwork that showcases the talent of regional artists. You can also stock up on artisan wine jellies to serve with crackers and baguettes at your next summer gathering. The vintners also suggest topping off pancakes, waffles, and ice cream with the jellies. We witnessed one taster licking the jelly jar clean, resulting in a recommendation to market owners who now carry the jellies at The New Chelsea Market.
Boulevard Market and Four Corners Creamery
After touring the winery, stroll across the street to the Boulevard Market to sample artisanal cheeses, salami, olives, and other delightful specialty foods. John Aylward, the cheese maker who owns the market and the onsite Four Corners Creamery along with his wife, Erika, crafts farm-specific, artisan cheeses using local milk that is hand-delivered to the creamery.
Evans Street Station
For dinner, try nearby Evans Street Station where Chef Alan Merhar artfully crafts delicious foods using seasonal ingredients. Signature dishes, like Brioche toasted whitefish, roasted duck breast, and char-crusted aged beef tenderloin, will delight your taste buds. The wine menu includes a selection from Michigan, such as an off-dry Riesling from Pentamere called Sovereign of the Lakes. More Michigan wines include L. Mawby’s sparkling Talismøn, Brys Estate’s Gewürztraminer, Château Grand Traverse’s Late Harvest Riesling, and Peninsula Cellars’ Cabernet Franc. Interested in a cold ale? We recommend Michigan brews from Bell’s Brewery or Jolly Pumpkin.
Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis are authors of the award-winning From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries and The History of Michigan Wines. Learn more and get autographed books at deliciousmichigan.com.