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Leelanau Cheese Co. has won a Silver Medal for their mild Raclette at the 2007 United States Championship Cheese Contest. The medal in the Open Class for Semi-Soft Cheeses was announced by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association on March 14th.
They really like us! We received another mention in The Wall Street Journal on December 22nd in the weekly Tastings column by Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher. They said,
Good wines are being made all over the US now…we had a lovely Pinot Noir from Michigan a couple of weeks ago, 2004 Black Star Farms Arcturos reasonably priced at $22.50.
Unfortunately, the ’04 vintage is just about gone, but the ’05 is ready to be released, and our winemaker thinks it’s our best ever Pinot Noir.
Twelve intrepid souls braved bitter cold in 2004 to pick the Riesling grapes that had been left on their vines in hopes of the right conditions to make ice wine. The temperatures had remained below freezing for a few days, so December 19th’s 8 degree morning was deemed to be the time to pick.
Covered in a half-foot of snow, Old Mission Peninsula’s Leorie Vineyard was the spot, and the picking began at sun-up, about 8am. Despite the chilly temperatures, the sun was shining and the wind wasn’t too strong making this year’s picking a “relatively pleasant” experience.
The vines had been covered in netting to discourage the birds, and, once it was cut away, all the leaves and some of the grape clusters fell into the snow, thus making the hunt for fallen clusters part of the ritual. Every grape counts when each only gives up about one drop of juice. Picking took about four hours. The bins of grapes were rushed back to Black Star Farms for the outdoor crushing to begin; the frozen grapes are not allowed to thaw. Juice coming off the press was at about 55 brix – a measure of sweetness – about two and a half times the normal brix for table wines.
Local photographer, David Fox, was on hand to capture the day’s events for posterity. Go to David’s web site to see just what happened on that frigid day.
Exceedingly slow fermentation finally finished, and the 2004 Ice Wine was bottled in February and just released in November. The residual sugar is a staggering 40%, while alcohol is at 7%. Come on in to the Tasting Room for some of our latest “liquid gold.”
If you’re looking for “far and away the best cider out of more than a dozen I tried,” heed Eric Felten’s word in the Wall Street Journal on October 7th, and look no farther. In his “How’s Your Drink” column he rated our Hard Apple Cider “a revelation. Like the first bite of a perfectly ripe apple straight from the tree, the taste was clean and fresh, not sugary or syrupy. And then, unlike any other cider I tried, that beautiful, uncluttered apple taste lingered, fading slowly and gently. Without trying to impersonate wine, the Black Star Farms cider was the only one that achieved that key characteristic of good vino-the long finish.”
He rated our cider “Very Good,” and his tasting notes read, “Clean, focused, fresh apple taste with a long, lingering finish. Without aping champagne, this cider succeeds as a delightful alternative.”
The Leelanau Cheesemakers have done it again! The State Fair judges have announced that John and Anne’s Raclette is Michigan’s Grand Champion Cheese for 2006.
Their Raclette – mild, aged, and peppercorn – and flavored fromage blanc is available at Black Star Farms tasting room in Suttons Bay and at select local stores. You can also order the Raclette by phone at 231.271.2600.
If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out on a bit of heaven.
Results are in from the 2006 Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition held on August 2nd in Lansing. The distinguished panel of judges awarded a Double Gold to our Sirius Pear Desert wine. Plus we pulled in 18 other medals! For complete results click the link below.
Anne and John have done it again. Their mild and aged Raclette cheeses have each taken 1st place in their respective divisions at the American Cheese Society’s 2006 Competition and Judging held in Portland, OR.
There were 941 cheeses entered in 22 categories (with 91 sub catagories.) Each cheese was judged alone on its merits, and awards were not necessarily given in each category. To win TWO 1sts is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations are in order.
The World Cheese Awards – the world’s most prestigious international cheese event – were held at Taste of London and entries were received from the USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, in addition to every cheese making nation in mainland Europe. 120 experts from around the world judged a total of 1542 cheeses.
Green Peppercorn Raclette was a big winner for Leelanau Cheese Co. taking a silver medal in Class 28b – Other hard pressed or repressed cowsâ milk cheese with savoury additives. The mild Raclette was awarded a bronze medal in Class 51 – Semi-hard cheese not in any other class. Because each cheese is judged separately and graded on its own merit, no medals need be awarded, so to be judged medal-worthy at all is an honor.
Congratulations to John and Anne on bringing home the prizes.
Our wines did extremely well in the recent Great Lakes Great Wines Competition, and Sandra Silfven spread the news in her weekly Detroit News column. Click below for the scoop.