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  • 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!

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.

Fall on the Farm

As autumn arrives in NW Michigan we hope for the usual warm days and cool nights to ripen the grapes to perfection.  We never know just what Mother Nature has in store, and that’s the exciting part.  By the end of September the palette changes to all shades of gold, red and ocher, the leaf peepers arrive to take in our glorious landscape, and the grape harvest begins. 

October is our busiest month at Black Star Farms.  Wine making is in full swing with long hours for our winery teams.  The Inn is full of guests lucky enough to have booked their color tour early.  All three tasting rooms are teeming with folks stocking up for the long winter ahead.  Hearth & Vine is open for the last month of their season, still serving up delicious farm-raised fare.  And it’s harvest time for our farm animals, too, who have provided such enjoyment for our visitors all summer.  This is the cycle of life at the Farm.

Come November things quiet down, but we’re still here, year ‘round, and hoping that you’ll make a visit during one of the “off” times when we have more time to spend. 

By |September 10th, 2013|Farm, Inn, Media, Video, Winery|0 Comments
  • Winemaker Lee Lutes

36th Annual Michigan Wine Competition

Twenty-five wine experts gathered August 6, 2013 in East Lansing for the 36th annual Michigan Wine Competition. Judges included Peter Bell and Johannes Reinhardt, two of the three winemakers who made “Tierce,” the New York Riesling served at President Obama’s inaugural luncheon in January.

Judges also included two of Michigan’s Master Sommeliers; Doug Frost, who is both a Master of Wine and Master Sommelier; and internationally known authors, winemakers and wine educators. Leading the group through the day was food and wine writer Christopher Cook, who judged at the competition for 12 years before becoming its superintendent in 2001. Cook is a judge at wine competitions throughout the United States and abroad.

Riesling has become a strong variety for Michigan — 71 were entered this year, from very dry to very sweet. Riesling has won Best of Class honors 19 times since 2000 — in various categories — and this year won two of the highest awards, for Best Dessert Wine and Best Semi-Dry White Wine.

Veteran judge Dick Scheer, owner of Village Corner wine shop in Ann Arbor, commented on the red wines of the day: “Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Meritage were all worthy of medal consideration, with ripeness complemented by mild tannin and good balance. Thanks to warm growing seasons of late, maturing vines, and talented winegrowing, this was the best cadre of Michigan dry red wines I’ve experienced at a Michigan Wine Competition.”

Roz Mayberry, wine buyer for D&W Fresh Market, remarked, “This year’s wine selection offered a number of lovely surprises: Chardonnays were oakey, but deftly oaked, and more interesting dry roses and Pinot Blancs than ever before. All of this points to the incredible growth in quality and interest in Michigan wines, and to the competence and sense of adventure of Michigan winemakers.”

Fifty-five of the state’s 102 wineries entered a record 450 wines for this year’s competition, which is open only to wine produced from Michigan grapes and other fruit. Gold medals were awarded to a wide variety of wines — from bone-dry reds to sweet and luscious dessert wines. At the end of the day, judges awarded the top “Best of Class” awards to six wines from a group of 42 gold medal winners, including six double gold.

Several of our wines showed very well at this year’s competition including one Best of Show winner! Take a look at our award winners below or view the complete list online.

Black Star Farms Wines:

Best of Class and Gold – 2012 Be Dazzled Sparkling Wine

Gold – 2010 Leorie Merlot Cabernet Franc

Silver – 2011 Arcturos Cabernet Franc and 2011 Arcturos Merlot

Bronze – 2011 A Capella Pinot Noir and 2011 Arcturos Pinot Noir

The competition is co-sponsored by the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, which will host a Gold Medal Wine Reception featuring the best wines from the competition this evening. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Visit www.michiganwines.com for more information, and for a complete list of the medal-winning wines.

The competition is also sponsored by the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, which is administered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. For more information about the wines and wineries of Michigan, contact the council online, or by phone at 517-241-4468.

Michigan Wine Competition Black Star Farms Double Gold

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Black Star Farms Arcturos Cabernet Franc Rosé is a ripe, fruity, semi-dry style fruit wine. This wine has the perfect combination of sweet and tart cherry flavors. It has great acidity which makes it a wonderful wine to pair with an assortment of cuisine. We recommend BBQ flavored fare, fresh fruit plates, and even ethnic cuisine with a bit of spice.

CFR

Our winemaker says that with its watermelon/cranberry fruit profile, crisp acidity and near perfect balance on the palate, this wine will pair with so many things classic summer foods like flat-bread pizzas, dry-rubbed pork ribs, pork tenderloin, and almost anything vegetarian!

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This Farm is Environmentally Verified…

“Promoting Stewardship and Protecting the Environment…”

The farm in Suttons Bay and the Montana Rusa vineyard on Old Mission Peninsula (adjacent to our tasting room) are proud to be verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).  This is a voluntary program that helps our farm and the one of our vineyard owner (on Old Mission Peninsula) prevent and minimize any agricultural pollution risks.

MAEAP is a holistic approach to environmental protection. Farms, orchards and vineyards are verified in many different systems. Those applicable to Black Star Farms and our grape growers include Farmstead and Cropping. These pertain to the management of farm infastructure, site conditions and evaluation of vineyard management practices.  A complete description of the program and systems is available from the MAEAP site.  Or if you prefer the condensed version take a look at our infographic below.

maeapinfographic

We salute the Michigan farms and vineyards that are verified. Six of those include our neighboring Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula vineyards that were recognized in a ceremony with Governor Rick Snyder this afternoon. The photo below shows winemaker Lee Lutes and vineyard owner Bob Mampe with their MAEAP plaque.

2011 Wines Receive Medals at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

The Finger Lakes International Wine Competition (FLWIC) is noted as the “world’s largest charitable wine competition” with a truly international diversity of wines and judges.  Wines from all over the world and from each of the 50 states are judged at this event.

All of the entries are evaluated by a world-renowned panel of judges representing distributors, educators, enologists, sommeliers, restaurateurs, winemakers and writers.  These diversified experts came from all over the United States and around the world.

Throughout the competition, each wine is judged on its own merit – its presence, balance and varietal character.  Wines are blind judged and all wines are presented to the judges in Riedel crystal stemware.  Medals are awarded for the unanimous Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze winning wines and all award winning wines are featured here.

Black Star Farms’ wines to receive medals include:

Double Gold:

2011 Arcturos Pinot Noir

2011 Arcturos Riesling

Gold:

2011 Arcturos Barrel Chardonnay

 Silver:

2011 Arcturos Dry Riesling

2011 Arcturos Cabernet Franc

2011 Tribute Riesling

 Bronze:

2011 Arcturos Late Harvest Riesling

2011 Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay

All net proceeds from the competition benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times.  Located in the heart of New York State’s Finger Lakes wine country, this not-for-profit organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, adults and families whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life-threatening challenges.

For more information check out the FLIWC video.

All information for this blog entry has been obtained directly from the FLWIC press release pages.

Take a Tour of the Inn

Have you ever wondered what it looks like inside our “big red house?” Step inside the Inn at Black Star Farms with this Google 360 Spin Tour. We invite you to browse around, view several of our different rooms, the lounge area and the special event spaces. 

A few navigation tips that may help you are listed below:

  • You can view tour in full screen mode by clicking on ‘Full Screen’ button in upper right corner of tour.
  • Click and hold left mouse button, then move left-right, up-down to view the tour…click on arrows on floor to move forward.
  • You can always start over by clicking on the ‘See Inside’ image on the left side of your G+ Directory page.
  • To move directly into another room/space use the semi-transparent circles on the screen.

Guest accommodations included in the tour are (the link will take you into the tour of only that room):

The Arcturos room is also featured in the tour and is where we frequently host our Harvest Dinner Series as well as weekend dinners.  Both the Arcturos and the Aquarius spaces are well suited for special events of varying degree in size.  Call our Event Coordinator Stephanie Lee Wiitala for more information, 231-944-1258.

Enjoy the tour and if you are a Google+ member be sure to +1 us and share your experience at our Inn. 

 

By |January 12th, 2013|Featured, Inn, Media|0 Comments

Dinners at the Inn

Executive Chef Jonathan Dayton’s artfully prepared dishes will inspire you to savor each bite while fully enjoying our relaxing ambience. Meals are prepared from fresh and local ingredients and are served alongside Black Star Farms wine and brandies.

Dinners are offered select Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. A complete list of dates can be found on our website calendar and sample menu is below. To learn more or to make a reservation please call the Inn at 231.944.1251.

Sample Pre-Fixe Menu ($45 per person)

FIRST

  • Roasted chestnuts

APPETIZER

  • Duck rillette, fromage blanc, balsamic reduction, grilled focaccia

SALAD

  • Roasted yellow beet and apple salad in cheese cup, marcona almonds, verjus, honey

ENTRÉE

  • Oven roasted hard apple cider brined pork loin, cauliflower potato puree, swiss chard, bee pollen butter
  • Prosciutto, basil and fresh mozzerella whitefish roulade, baked polenta, parsley oil, pine nut crumble
  • Wild mushroom, arugula and parmesan chicken roulade, veloute

DESSERT

  • Crème brulee, vanilla infused custard, caramelized sugar

 Eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood may increase risk of food born illness. Please ask your server about items that you may be concerned about.

All Events and Dinners Require Reservations. Please call 231.944.1251 or email innkeeper@blackstarfarms.com.

By |January 1st, 2013|Featured, Inn, Media|6 Comments
  • Don Coe
  • Don Coe
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Managing Partner Don Coe Recieves a Distinguished Award

The Michigan Land Use Institute honored those who help carry out its important mission at the annual Milliken Reception on July 27, 2012.

The reception bears the Milliken name in honor of Governor William Milliken and his wife Helen, longtime member of the Institute Board of Directors, who dedicated their lives to defending Michigan’s environment. They believe that a clean, healthy environment is necessary for a prosperous economy.

The event is the Institute’s yearly celebration where members of the Milliken Circle are honored for their support and it gives the MLUI a chance to honor supporters who have helped in other significant ways.

This year, recognition was given to Managing Partner, Don Coe, a strong proponent of the local economy; Denis Pierce, president of Chicago-based law firm Pierce & Associates and a philanthropist with a deep belief in sustainability and fairness; and former MLUI staff member Janice Benson, who was responsible for much of the success of the Taste The Local Difference food local marketing program.

“Without the input and support of people like Don and Denis, and the work of people like Janice, our efforts to promote clean energy, support local food and farming, build thriving communities, and encourage a strong local economy would be impossible,” said MLUI Executive Director Hans Voss.

In 14 years of ownership and management Black Star Farms has emerged as a world-class winery and a shining example of the importance of local food to a local economy. Don’s actions are tied to a simple but powerful belief that farming matters in Michigan; and a conviction that if we take bold steps now, we can create a durable agricultural economy that creates lasting opportunity for generations to come. Coe received the Milliken Distinguished Leadership Award for his work.

We are honored to have managing partner Don Coe be the recipient of this special Miliken Distinguished Leadership Award. Congratulations Don!