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  • Doug Frost, washington cup

Spirit of Cherry and Spirit of Apple awarded Washington Cup!

Doug Frost

Doug Frost

Black Star Farms enjoyed incredible success at the 2014 Washington Cup Competition, taking home two of the six Washington Cups awarded for our Spirit of Cherry and Spirit of Apple fruit brandies! The Cup is the top honor in this competition exclusively for American-made spirits and liqueurs.

“The distilled spirits business demands a steep learning curve, so an experienced hand like Black Star Farms stands out among the many new and aspiring spirits makers.

Black Star Farms’ success with achieving two Washington Cups is nonetheless remarkable. Only six were given out among the nearly one hundred thirty spirits in the competition.”
~ Doug Frost

Black-Star-Farms-Spirits-of-Apple-and-CherryWashington Cup founder Doug Frost writes extensively about wine and spirits and one of only three people in the world to hold the Master Sommelier and Master of Wine certification. Doug is certainly a unique talent, and for the Washington Cup he created a judging process that is unique for its three phases of competition. These include a blind tasting by professional spirits judges and a tasting by professional bartenders who create signature cocktails for the top scoring spirits and a blind consumer tasting of the created cocktails.

Spirit of Cherry is produced from a blend of black sweet cherries including Hearty Giant, Ulster, Schmidt, Heidel-Fingen, Nelson, Van, and Sam, and from red tart varieties including Montmorency and Balaton. It has a clear appearance and distinctive subtle cherry flavors with robust but balanced alcohol and is neither sweet nor tart.

Spirit of Apple is a small batch, hand crafted apple brandy distilled from a true cider blend of several different apple varieties including Jonagold, Winesap, Rhode Island Greening, Spy, McIntosh, and Jonathan. It is then barrel-aged for three to five years, using both French and American oak. At the precise time the distiller feels is optimal, the brandy is bottled – often a single barrel at a time. Pale golden amber in color, it is well balanced with opulent, sweet-wood apple and caramel aromas and mellowed, spicy warmth.

Black Star Farms Spirit of Pear Brandy was awarded a Silver Medal.

More about the Washington Cup on their website (link will open in a new window)

View our news release right here.

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  • Table 2
  • Menu
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Black Star Farms Squash Harvest Dinner Menu & Photos

FIRST
zucchini carpaccio, pine nuts, ricotta, parsley
w/ 2013 Arcturos Sauvignon Blanc

SECOND
fried patty pan squash, sweet corn sauce, caccicavallo
w/ 2012 Arcturos Barrel Aged Chardonnay

THIRD
grilled squash with mangalitsa lardo, tomato and fennel
w/ 2011 Arcturos Dry Riesling

FOURTH
summer squash and duck confit, smoked butter, basil, honey
w/ 2011 Arcturos Pinot Noir

FIFTH
summer squash gnocchi and lambchetta
w/ 2011 Leorie Vineyard Merlot Cabernet Franc

SIXTH
zucchini cake, lemon white chocolate ganache, chocolate mint blossoms
w/ Sirius Pear Dessert Wine

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August Tomato Basil Harvest Dinner

Tomato Basil Harvest Dinner/Wednesday, August 12, 2014
Chef Jonathan Dayton

THE MENU

Amuse: Arancini, basil butter, prosciutto, yellow marinara
Cocktail: Smoked Tomato basil cocktail with Sauvignon Blanc, Red Grappa and Bedazzled

First: Heirloom tomatoes and peaches, torn focaccia, basil oil, ricotta
Wine pairing: Arcturos Gruner Veltliner

Second: Basil tortellini with chanterelle mushrooms and chicken, cherry tomato confit
Wine pairing: Arcturos Barrel Aged Chardonnay

Third: Rabbit with pesto, smoked tomato water, pea shoots
Wine pairing: Arcturos Pinot Noir

Fourth: Tomato braised lamb shanks, green polenta, farm egg
Wine Pairing: Vintners Select

Fifth: Gold cherry tomato tart, basil olive oil ice cream
Wine Pairing: Sirius Red Dessert Wine

  • Coryn Briggs

Black Star Farms’ Coryn Briggs joins Traverse City Tourism

Coryn BriggsTraverse City Tourism has announced that they have hired Coryn Briggs as their new digital marketing & design specialist. From their news release:

A Detroit area native, Briggs earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a masters in Recreation and Tourism Management at Michigan State University. She has lived and worked in Traverse City since 2004 and spent the past five years as director of marketing at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay. She will manage Traverse City Tourism’s website content, social media outlets and connections to third-party sites, conduct its web-based marketing and newsletter campaigns, and assist in design projects.

“Working with social media and graphic design were the parts of my job that I loved the most at Black Star Farms, and it will be wonderful to be able to narrow my focus down to those areas in this new endeavor,” she said.

Briggs enjoys baking, thrift/antique shopping and running (she completed her first half marathon this June at the Glen Arbor Solstice Race) and likes to visit Traverse City’s many brewpubs, beaches and recreational trails. She is married to Jay Briggs, winemaker at 45 North Vineyard and Winery. They have two young daughters.

“We are thrilled to have Coryn join our marketing team,” said Traverse City Tourism Marketing Manager Mary Winowiecki. “Both her professional experience and her extensive knowledge of the area will greatly benefit Traverse City Tourism as we continue to grow our online presence.”

While we are sad to see Coryn go, we are happy for her and know that Traverse City’s destination marketing effort is welcoming a great addition!

Stuart Pigott & City of Riesling

Tasting with Stuart Pigott

The new City of Riesling event is bringing one of the top Riesling writers in the world back to Traverse City, Stuart Pigott.

Stuart writes on his blog that one of the things that makes Northern Michigan so fascinating is the incredible diversity of the winemakers and says:

Not only do Chateau Fontaine, Black Star Farms, Left Foot Charley, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, 2 Lads, Shady Lane and Chateau Grand Traverse make very good Rieslings, but the people behind those wines are all incredibly different and incredibly interesting. Why nobody outside the regional press has written that story yet is truly incomprehensible to me.

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A New Dining Experience in the Arcturos Dining Room at the Inn

Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared from locally sourced ingredients in the Arcturos Dining Room at the Inn. Executive Chef Jonathan Dayton’s philosophy is to cook with meats, herbs, vegetables, and fruits that either grown or raised on the farm at Black Star or from other Michigan farms within a 100 mile radius. A list of some of the farms and companies the chef routinely uses includes:

  • 9 Bean Rows in Northport for vegetables and artisan bread
  • Bakers Acres in Marion for chicken and pork
  • JRJ Ranch in Marion for Lamb
  • Olesons Farm in Traverse City for buffalo
  • Bunny Hop Ranch in Cedar for rabbit
  • Makinaw Straits Fishing Company in St. Ignace for whitefish, perch, lake trout and salmon
  • Carlsons in Leland for whitefish and smoked whitefish
  • TLC Tomatoes in Northport for tomatoes, spring greens, and bibb lettuce
  • Gallaghers Centenial Farm in Traverse City for beef
  • Champion Hills Farm in Beulah for honey
  • Halpins Land Of Goshen in Kaleva for cheese
  • Grassfields Cheese in Coopersville for cheese
  • Light of Day Organics in Traverse city for tea
  • Great Northern Roasting Company in Traverse City for coffee
  • Brownwood Acres in Central Lake for mustards and cherry products
  • Rennie Orchards in Williamsburg for an assortment of fruit
  • Friske’s Orchards in Elsworth for fruits and vegetables
  • Second Spring Farm in Cedar for vegetables
  • Elmaple Farm in Kaleva for vegetables

There is also an assortment of in house prepared decadent desserts. Black Star Farms wine is also available by the glass or bottle. The Arcturos Dining Room has very limited seating and reservations are required. Dinners begin at 6:30 pm. Call 231.944.1251 to make a reservation.

The dinner menu changes weekly depending on what meats and produce are locally available.

Take a look at a sample menu in the pdf. link below.

Menu pdf

 

 

Pear and its Spirit

Many of our visitors are curious how we get the pear in the bottle of the Pear and its Spirit brandy. The process begins in the spring when the bottles are tied over budding branches with hopes that a Bartlett pear will grow to maturity inside the bottle.

This year we were able to visit Delight of Life Farm and record video of the crew tying the bottles to the trees. In the video below Heather Jordan, owner of Delight of Life Farm, is gently attaching a bottle to the budding branch. Heather explained that they do not tie bottles to every bud; it has to be “just right.” When asked what she meant by this she said the budding branch has to be facing upwards or the pear will not grow well in the bottle and the bottle is also more likely to fall off the tree.

The pear is harvested inside the bottle, cleaned and washed, and the bottle is then filled with pear brandy from the same orchard and hand labeled in a special limited presentation. The pear will calcify over time as long as it is covered with the brandy. It is important to replace the brandy with our Spirit of Pear brandy when it gets close to uncovering the pear.

Pear and Its Spirit truly captures the essence of Northern Michigan fruit. The balance of fruit and alcohol reflects both the artisan skill of the distiller and the quality of the fruit. The resulting clear Pear and its Spirit delivers an explosion of succulent pear aroma and taste, rich flavor with a dry and elegant after taste.

To learn more ask about this product in our tasting room during your next visit visit to our tasting rooms up north.

Celebrate Your Birthday or Anniversary at the Inn at Black Star Farms

Are you looking for that special place to celebrate your next birthday or anniversary? Let the innkeepers and staff at the Inn at Black Star Farms take care of you.  Enjoy luxurious accomodations, award winning wines, and fabulous meals while celebrating your special day.  Join our Birthday and Anniversary Club and receive discounts each year you celebrate with us, including a 10% discount on the first year’s stay. Learn more about this club and fill out your application to join in the pdf. below.

B-DAYANNIV CLUB pdf

“We stayed there for the first time in January and were beyond impressed.”

Shannon and Cortney Casey from Michigan By The Bottle. Learn more about their experience at the inn in this video below.

What Michigan By The Bottle Says About the Inn at Black Star Farms

Last week we were thrilled to host Shannon and Cortney Casey from Michigan By The Bottle at the Inn. As avid readers of their blog we were excited to share our corner of Northern Michigan on the farm with them.

As ambassadors for the Michigan wine industry the Casey’s had visited Black Star Farms many times in the past.  During this recent visit their knowledge of Black Star Farms beyond the winery was broadened as they were pampered at the Inn and given a grand tour of the property.  We love how they share their experiences in this recent article on their blog and are grateful to them for all of the work they do to promote the Michigan wine industry.

A few of our favorite quotes from their article include:

“The foyer is telling of the elegance throughout, with a giant black star — the facility’s namesake — set into the white marble floor, a curving staircase, a bubbling fountain, an elegant chandelier and a long, open hallway providing views from above.” – In reference to the Inn

“It gave us more time to breathe and soak in the ambiance: the soaring ceilings, the sunlit star skylight, the vivid paintings of rural vistas. Not to mention the wine.” – In reference to their visit to the tasting room

Down the hall is the kitchen, the source of delectable aromas every morning as Chef John ‘Street’ Dayton whips up breakfast for the guests. The Sunday morning we were there, he was preparing a concoction that both looked and smelled amazing: a potato, leek and roasted pepper hash wrapped in prosciutto, forming a column, with a Late Harvest Riesling basted egg perched atop it.” – In reference to breakfast served on Sunday morning

Thanks again Shannon and Cortney! We look forward to your next visit in the summer.

By |January 21st, 2011|Inn, Winery|1 Comment

An Engaging Offer at TASTES of Black Star Farms

Recent proposal trends about when and where to pop the question show that women really do not want the event to take place in an elaborate setting followed by a lavish dinner.  Instead they are likely to be pleased with something romantic and traditional that doesn’t break the bank.

TASTES of Black Star Farms offers all of the above and is just the right spot in Traverse City. Located in the uniquely historic Village at Grand Traverse Commons TASTES has the right ambience to make the moment memorable. Guests can start the evening off with wine sampling at the bar followed by a wonderful Matterhorn Grill dinner planned for two. TASTES offers private seating areas with warm lighting to capture the mood perfectly. After the big question a celebration is in order and can include Black Star Farms’ Be Dazzled sparkling wine paired with dessert.  

Affordable, unique, and with just the right amount of room to get down on one knee, TASTES is a great location to propose. For pricing information or to make a reservation please call Kevin Culloty at 231.944.1349.

The Matterhorn Grill Dinner is a simple and traditional European-style meal of Leelanau Cheese Company’s award-winning raclette cheese melted and poured over a selection of table-top grilled meat, sausages, potatoes, seasonal vegetables, apples, and hearth-baked bread.

TASTES is open Tuesday & Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., and on Sunday, noon-4 p.m. The tasting bar offers samples and retail sales of the full range of Black Star Farms’ wines.  Small plates, both savory and sweet, pair well with wine samples by the glass. After 5pm, Matterhorn Grill dinners are served featuring Leelanau Cheese Company cheese and wine samples. Seating for groups of 2-18 is limited, and reservations are necessary.