• Anniversary Logo

Black Star Farms BIG Photo Contest

Anniversary Logo

We are taking a walk down memory lane while celebrating Michigan Wine Month and our 15 year anniversary. We have a lot of stories and photos and we are hoping you do too! Share yours with us in our BIG Photo Contest and be entered to win one of three amazing prizes. Prizes include two $125 gift certificates to Black Star Farms and a two night stay at the Inn at Black Star Farms. Contest details are below:

 Part 1 – 4/1 to 4/18

• Post a “Black Star Farms” picture to Twitter, Instagram *or* Pinterest or on our Facebook page. Picture examples include: your favorite wine or room at the Inn, farmstead cuisine from the Inn, Hearth & Vine or TASTES, the farm property, the tasting rooms, etc. Can’t make it up here? Track down some Black Star Farms wine and do something creative wherever you are!

- Please note that if you are entering a photo with recognizable individuals (not a crowd) please ensure that you have their permission.

- By entering your photo into the Black Star Farms BIG Photo Contest you grant Black Star Farms the rights to post your photo to our website, blog, social media outlets and to use it in print and promotional venues for Black Star Farms.

• When sharing the pictures on Twitter please use @bstar2009 handle.

• When sharing on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram please use the #blackstarfarms hashtag.

• After you post your picture, email us ( a link to the social site and you will receive a confirmation email that we have entered your name into the first drawing for the $125 Black Star Farms gift certificate.

IMPORTANT: You’re not entered until you get the email back from us. Email with any concerns.

• One winner will be randomly selected to win the $125 Black Star Farms gift certificate.

Part 2 – 4/25 to 5/2

• We will select our favorite photos (from those shared by you) in an album on Facebook where you will have the opportunity to comment and vote on your favorite one.

• Your comments and voting will enter you into a random drawing to win a $125 Black Star Farms gift certificate.

Part 3 – 5/5

The individual who took the photo that has received the most likes and comments (combined) will be the winner of the Grand Prize: A Two Night Stay at the Inn at Black Star Farms (some restrictions may apply on the certificate, such as block out days and dates).

Start snapping! We can’t wait to see your pictures…
Email or call Coryn with questions, or 231-944-1311.

  • Black Star Farms Employee Feature

Black Star Farms Employee Feature

Black Star Farms is an exciting place to visit and work. Meet the staff behind the bar, in the kitchen, at the Inn, in the winery, etc. in this new Employee Features section of our blog. The first installment is all about Andy…he’s spirited, funny, intelligent and a great person to be around!

Black Star Farms Employee Feature

Andy Jacobson, Tasting Room Manager at our Old Mission Tasting Room

Where are you from?

Traverse City, MI. Born & raised.

What drew you to working at Black Star Farms and how long have you been there?

I had previous retail experience and saw a classified ad for tasting room staff at the Suttons Bay tasting room.  I thought it would be a good experience and a fun job so I applied. After a great season working there I was asked to come back as the company was growing and opening a tasting room on Old Mission Peninsula.  It has been seven years since Black Star Farms opened the Old Mission winery and tasting room and I am honored to have been a part of it since the beginning.

What’s your favorite Black Star Farms wine?

It’s hard to choose one…. For our reds I like the Arcturos Cabernet Franc, hands down! In the whites there are so many great choices! Right now I’m favoring the Arcturos Dry Riesling with the Arcturos Gewurtztraminer a close second.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I think it’s cliche to say “meeting all kinds of friendly, different, people.” I really feel like the best part is that every day is different and presents it’s own challenges. One day it may be helping someone new to our industry learn that they actually can like and enjoy wine. The next it might be managing a busy tasting room and making sure everyone has the laid back and positive experience we strive to create.

When you are not working at Black Star Farms what are your favorite things/hobbies in Northern Michigan?

I like to run (though I have been a bit of a slacker lately) and read. I also like to explore our Northern Michigan area with my wife and daughter. I feel it is important for her to grow up active, but also to appreciate the wonderful sights, sounds, tastes and events encompassed in our unique area.

Which Black Star Farms wine is most representative of the Old Mission Peninsula?

I would have to say Riesling, without a doubt! There is so much variation in styles (dry, semi-dry, sweet, etc.) and in a way it is a metaphor for what the Old Mission Peninsula has to offer. There is something out here for everyone to enjoy. Hopefully we can help them find it!

Do you have any favorite “on the job” moments? (ie, engagements, celebrations, start of new season, etc.)

More than anything else I like it when people who haven’t been wine tasting visit. Sometimes they may feel out of place, shy or intimidated. I enjoy these guests because it is my goal to make them feel comfortable in our tasting room while sampling and learning about Black Star Farms wines. Ultimately it’s the experience and the idea that wine is something that anyone and everyone can enjoy.

Seasonal & Artful Dining at the Inn

Inn Dinners are back this winter and spring at the Inn and more popular than ever! You don’t have to be an inn guest to make a reservation for Executive Chef Jonathan Dayton’s seasonal and artfully prepared prix fixe menu. Five delicious courses are only $50.00 per guest. You can also choose the wine pairing option for an additional $20.00 and make it a truly memorable dining experience.

The Harvest Dinner series is also on the monthly calendar for the second Wednesday of each month. Upcoming themes include Goose & Winter Greens, Root Cellar Revival, Morels in May, Asparagus and Tomato Basil (sample menu links below). Tickets for these 5 course wine paired dinners are limited to 30 guests and cost is $100.00 all inclusive of tax and gratuity. Call 231.944.1251 to make your reservation.

Root Cellar Revival Sample Menu

Beet – roasted red and yellow beets, almond tuile, fromage blanc mousse, beet verjus vinaigrette, pea shoots

Celeriac – celeriac gnocchi, arugula cream, pancetta lardons, celeriac crumble

Parsnip – vanilla bean parsnip puree, pan seared breast of duck, parsley oil, parsnip crisps, swiss chard

Potato – potato sage mousseline, sweet potato gratin, grilled lamb tenderloin, fingerling confit, demi

Carrot – carrot ice cream, candied ginger, pine nut brittle, carrot caramel

Morels in May Sample Menu

Smoked rabbit and caramelized morels, fromage blanc polenta, raclette crostini, balsamic sauce

Morel and asparagus, pea tendrils, fresh mozzarella, pickled ramp, lardo

Morel and swiss chard stuffed chicken breast, potato puree, chevre

Leg of lamb, pancetta, crisp morels, morel lamb jus

Candied morel mushroom ice cream, hazelnut crumble, white chocolate

Please note these menus are samples and are subject to change depending on the seasonal availability of the ingredients. Tickets for all of the Harvest Dinners are also available from MyNorth tickets.

Savor the Tastes & Flavors

Kick off the first Friday of each month at TASTES of Black Star Farms! Stop by and partake in our “Savor the Tastes & Flavors” experiential events. Learn first-hand about selected wines and spirits and their complementary food choices. Wine and appetizers provided at each event, $3 per person and $5 per couple.

Dates & Themes are Below:

 April 4th – Blended or Straight Reds

Do you prefer only single varietal wines or are blends more appealing? Taste the unique characteristics of the Arcturos Pinot Noir and Red House Red while discovering which one you favor with a sample of duck confit on focaccia crisp, with cranberry preserves and fromage blanc.

May 2nd – What’s in Your Mash Tun?

Do you enjoy different types of whiskeys? Learn how grain types contribute to the distinctive flavor characteristics of this classic distilled beverage.  Food pairing will be announced closer to the event.

June 6th – Fermentation, Distillation and Fortification

Are you curious about how alcohol beverages are produced? Expand your knowledge on the different processes and production procedures for wines, distilled spirits and more. Food pairing will be announced closer to the event.

Call 231-944-1349 for information.

  • Digs & Swigs
  • Digs & Swigs
  • digsandswigsback
  • digsandswigs

Digs & Swigs

Wine tasting and a little more…join us during any of the upcoming

Digs & Swigs events at our Suttons Bay & Old Mission tasting rooms.

Dates and themes are highlighted below. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Inquiries, call 231-944-1271 or email

Digs & Swigs


Bringing Our Farm to the Village at TASTES

It’s a new beginning for TASTES of Black Star Farms in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons! Wine and spirit sampling is still available along with a creative selection of cocktails.  Farmstead cuisine is the theme for the small plates menu that features Black Star Farms house cured meats, local cheeses, fondue and the famous Matterhorn Grill.

The newly renovated space has multiple seating options including private tables and comfortable bar stools. The ambient lighting makes TASTES a relaxing and friendly place to dine and sip on local beverages.  Singles, couples, friends, private parties are all welcome! Reservations are not needed and hours of operation are noted below along with information about upcoming events.


Sunday from Noon to 4pm

Monday – Thursday 11 am to 7 pm

Friday & Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm

For information please call TASTES at 231-944-1349.


By |February 19th, 2014|Featured, Tasting|0 Comments
  • Artful Retreat with Stephanie Schlatter
  • Artful Retreat with Stephanie Schlatter
  • Artful Retreat with Stephanie Schlatter
  • Artful Retreat with Stephanie Schlatter

Artful Retreat

We invite you to explore the symbiotic relationship at our Artful Retreat on March 23, 2014. Your love of wine, art and food will serve as inspiration for a day of creative thinking and personal artistry. Grand Rapids artist Stephanie Schlatter will lead a 3 hour wine and art class (see more below) that will be followed by a four course artfully prepared meal presented by Chefs Jonathan Dayton and Stephanie Lee Wiitala.

Schedule of Day’s Happenings:
1 pm – 3 pm – Art and Wine with Stephanie Schlatter

Artist & educator Stephanie Schlatter makes artistic expression accessible through an approachable process. Learn how to connect with your creative side while exploring the relationship between art and wine. In this class you will sip your way through samples of four wines while expanding your knowledge of the creative process. Each wine will be recorded on paper and four souvenir art pieces will created as you get your fingers into the fine art of ‘hands on’ tasting.

3 pm – 5 pm – Creative Recharge
Free time to rest in your room at the Inn; explore the farm property or wine taste at the onsite tasting room.

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Hospitality Hour
Unwind in our Pegasus lounge and enjoy house made appetizers and select Black Star Farms wines.

6:30 – 8:30 pm – Four Course Wine Paired Dinner
Engage your other palate during at the artfully prepared dinner presented by Executive Chef Jonathan Dayton and Pastry Chef Stephanie Wiitala. An exciting and delicious array colors, flavors and aromas will be included in each course.

Menu for Dinner

First – Salt roasted red and gold beets, fennel, milk curd, almond

Second –Whitefish, roquefort cheese and forest mushroom, spinach, buttered barley

Third – White wine brined pork loin, kale, celery root risotto, farm egg

Fourth – Pear and apple with honey and ginger, lemon

Retreat Pricing (per person)
Room & Amenities (plus breakfast)
Art & Wine Class
4 Course Dinner
Single occupancy – $260
Double occupancy – $210

(room rates are subject to 11% sales tax and destination fee)

Art Class Only

$60 per person

Please call or email ( our innkeeper to make your reservation.

Please note the components of this retreat are not available individually and other special offers do not apply towards this event.

By |February 19th, 2014|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Winter: The Season of Tranquility at Black Star Farms

The long days of harvest are over; the color tour & wedding season have come to a close leaving the farm in a state of tranquility. The sublime winter beauty is combined with the daily happenings in the wineries, vineyards and inn creating a true sense of place that is special to both new and return guests.

Enjoy our newest video and discover the quiet nature of winter at Black Star Farms.

  • Black Star Farms Inn During the Winter

Run of the House Special at the Inn at Black Star Farms

Got the mid week blues or need a great gift idea for that oh so hard to buy for person?  Take a break and head up (or send your loved ones) to the Inn for two nights in our best available room on Sunday and Monday or Wednesday and Thursday nights for only $395 (excludes tax).  Not sure which dates work best?  That’s okay.  A voucher for a future stay will be provided to you and can be used for any Sunday/Monday or Wednesday/Thursday combination during the dates of December 3, 2013 until May 1, 2014  Can’t find a date that works at all?  After May 1, 2014 your $395 can be used as a dollar value towards a stay indefinitely. We will also throw in a $50 voucher good towards an additional night(s) or a future stay in 2014!

Additional amenities include afternoon refreshments, evening wine reception, full gourmet breakfast, complimentary bottle of our Red House wine, and enjoyment of our sauna, library, and recreational trails. This promotion stands alone and is not valid with any other discounts or offers.

Run of the House means your accommodation type will be designated at the time of your booking based on availability, but guaranteed this is an excellent value. Call 231-944-1251 or order your voucher.

Vouchers only available until April 7, 2014.

Little Details to Note:

  • Queen size bed or larger guaranteed.
  • Vouchers cannot be combined to extend stay.
  • Reservations required; subject to availability.
  • Not valid on existing reservations.
  • Merchant cancellation/re-scheduling policy of 14 days in advance of scheduled arrival; voucher subject to forfeiture.
  • Voucher cannot be combined with any other discounts, vouchers, or gift certificates.
  • Includes one bottle of house wine, full gourmet breakfast for two, nightly hospitality, and reserve wine tasting in the Tasting Room.
  • All deal components must be redeemed during one stay.
  • After May 1, 2014 promotional value will be applied to regular rack rates.

Apple Squash Bisque Recipe

This is the bisque that was served at our Leelanau Peninsula tasting room during the annual LPVA Toast the Season event.  It’s perfect for the cool winter months!

Apple Squash Bisque

Jonathan Dayton/Executive Chef at Black Star Farms

3 T unsalted butter

2 large yellow onions, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

3 ribs celery, finely chopped

4 apples

1 butternut squash

1 acorn squash

1 c hard apple cider

5 c vegetable or chicken stock

1 t finely chopped fresh rosemary

2 t finely chopped fresh thyme

½ c half-and-half

1 t cinnamon

½ t nutmeg

½ c honey

Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

- Peel and seed the acorn and butternut squash and cut into 2-inch chunks.

- Save the seeds and roast in the oven for garnish.

- Peel and core the apples and cut into 2-inch chunks.

- In a soup pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter and saute the onion, shallots, carrots and celery until softened, about 8-10 minutes.

- Add the apples and squash and cook until nicely coated, about 3 minutes longer.

- Add the stock, hard apple cider, rosemary and thyme and bring to a boil.

- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.

- Remove from the heat and stir in the honey, half-and-half, nutmeg and cinnamon.

- Using a hand-held or standing blender, puree the soup until smooth.

- Salt and pepper to taste.

- Reheat gently over low heat before service.




By |November 29th, 2013|Featured, Inn, Tasting, Winery|1 Comment