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The Thrill of the Chill

A nice article by wine enthusiast and Michigan wine lover Mike Brenton. Thanks Mike for sharing your knowledge about the growing and production processes of ice wine.  Read more here

Resolutions for Wine Lovers

10 resolutions for current and wannabe wine lovers to consider in the New Year. One size doesn’t fit all, so pick and choose accordingly.

Read more of Joel Goldberg’s 10 resolutions to help you wine your way through 2010 here

Wine Cocktails for the Holidays

Siriusly Dazzled – A delicious sparkling treat!

Fill a champagne glass 3/4 full with Black Star Farms Be Dazzled sparkling wine and top it off with Black Star Farms Sirius Cherry Dessert wine.

Red House White Punch – Great for Parties!

1 Bottle of Black Star Farms Red House White

2/3 cup sugar

1 lemon and lime wedged

1 cup orange juice

1/2 liter of Sprite or club soda

Pour wine into a pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and lime into the wine. Add the orange juice, toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar. Chill overnight.

Add sprite or club soda just before serving. Top with fresh fruit for a colorful touch.

Cherry Wine Sangria – The Ultimate Party Punch!

1 Bottle of Black Star Farms Cherry Wine

A shot of brandy, rum, or other pure grain alcohol

Juice of one lime or lemon

Assorted chopped fruit (strawberries, oranges, peaches, etc)

Mix all the ingredients together and chill for several hours. Serve in a pitcher or punch bowl.

WOMP Donates to Non-Profits

The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) are proud to have donated $9,000 to northern Michigan non-profits. The total donation was a combination of the wine trail’s annual year-end donation and the results of its first annual Day of Giving event held on Saturday, December 12.

Each year, WOMP makes a monetary contribution to area non-profit agencies that help support the food and wine industry in northern Michigan. Additional contributions were made to groups that helped support WOMP events. Donations were made to the following organizations:
♣    Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc. Migrant Health Clinic
♣    Michigan State University Viticulture Education
♣    Michigan Wine Foundation
♣    Northwestern Michigan College Community Band
♣    Old Mission Peninsula Women’s Club

For the Day of Giving, each WOMP winery chose to donate 15% of their gross sales that day to the following nonprofits:
•    2 Lads Winery – Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan
•    Black Star Farms – Traverse Health Clinic
•    Bowers Harbor Vineyard – Cherryland Humane Society
•    Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery – Father Fred Foundation
•    Chateau Chantal – Goodwill Inn
•    Chateau Grand Traverse – Women’s Resource Center
•    Peninsula Cellars – American Red Cross Northwest Michigan Chapter

Total donation for the Day of Giving amounted to $2,500.

“WOMP itself is a non-profit trade association, so every year we look for ways to give back to the organizations and industries that we’re passionate about both as northern Michigan residents and business owners,” said Ed O’Keefe, WOMP president. “We’d like to thank everyone who helped make our new event a success and contributed to the growth of our wine trail in 2009.”

About the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula
The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) consists of seven distinct wineries: 2 Lads Winery, Black Star Farms, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, Chateau Chantal, Chateau Grand Traverse, and Peninsula Cellars – all situated at the globe’s 45th parallel – the ideal climate for growing vinifera grapes. The wineries have been well recognized by international wine enthusiasts for the Old Mission Peninsula experience and their award-winning wines, including their prestigious ice wines. For more information and a complete list of events, visit www.wineriesofoldmission.com.

Apple Brandy is Back

After a brief lapse of availability,  Spirit of Apple Brandy is back on the shelf, just in time for the holidays and the cold weather.  Pour a little of our Spirit of Apple Brandy into your favorite snifter, swirl, smell and sip…ahh! Warmth all over from your head to your toes. It’s a great digestif after a delicious holiday meal.

Please note this spirit is ONLY available for sale in our Suttons Bay tasting room call 231-944-1270 for information.

Culinary Tourism on the Horizon

“A new state-wide initiative is underway to increase the amount of Michigan-made products offered at restaurants through the state. The Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance will bring the state’s restaurant, food production and tourism interests together to promote the sale of locally produced goods ranging from wines and hand-crafted beers to specialty fruits and vegetables.”  Read more of this story by Record Eagle staff writers Art Bukowski and Bill O’Brien.

In a second article on the subject in the Detroit Free Press, Restaurant Critic Sylvia Rector quotes Linda Jones, Dirrector of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council:

…the idea is “to bring people together … to promote more economic activity.” For example, restaurants will be encouraged to offer more Michigan wines; those that feature at least four labels will be listed and promoted on the wine council’s Web site and included in Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance activities, she said.

To read her entire article, click here.

This will be a boon for all of Michigan agriculture,  including wineries, chefs and restaurateurs, and Michigan tourism.

We say, “it’s about time!”

Tasting Leelanau: Afterword

The Gang of Pour stayed at the Inn at Black Star Farms and visited Anne and John at Leelanau Cheese Co.  Click here to read their nice comments in the Afterword to their Tasting Leelanau blog.

Tasting Leelanau: a Visit to Black Star Farms

A nice post from Gang of Pour about their visit to the Leelanau Peninsula wineries.

“Our final tasting was, most appropriately at Black Star Farms. We didn’t have an appointment, per se, but David Rusnell spoke with Winemaker/Distiller/Manager Lee Lutes  during the LPVA Visioning Session on Wednesday, and Lee agreed to lead us through the tasting…” read more

Luscious Leorie

Master Sommelier Claudia Tyagi was interviewed recently for the Michigan by the Bottle blog concerning Michigan wines.  The final question was, “What was the last Michigan wine you drank, and what were your impressions?”  Luckily for us, here’s what she answered:

That being said, the latest Michigan wine that I’ve consumed was a 2007 red blend from Black Star Farms called Leorie Vineyard.  It is 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc and feels like purple velvet jam in your mouth.  The Leorie Vineyard is on Old Mission Peninsula, overlooking the West Bay.  Michigan red grape varieties achieved maximum ripeness in 2007, and this wine is a testament to the vineyard in that vintage.  Juicy ripe black cherry, blueberry flavors are tesed by aromas of oak driven baking spices and just a tiny hint of expresso bean mocha.  A touch of citrus peel nips your tongue.  It is so luscious, and showing so well right now that the bottle I shared with friends on Sunday night did not stick around long enough to see if it would evolve in the glass.  My hunch is that it will age beautifully, but may go through an adolescent period when it retracts and is sulky for a bit.  Then decanting will be a necessity, and it may actually last long enough for you to study its evolution in the glass.

You can read the complete post here.

Day of Giving

Shop the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula on the Day of Giving to help support area nonprofit organizations. For one day only, each winery will be donating 15 percent of their gross sales to a select nonprofit. Join us in celebrating the season of giving on Saturday, December 12 during tasting room hours or by purchasing online at participating winery web sites.

In light of many people losing their jobs and health care insurance, Black Star Farms feels it is appropriate to help the neighbors who are struggling in these tough economic times. Black Star Farms has chosen the Traverse Health Clinic as the recipient of 15% of their Old Mission sales on the December 12th WOMP Day of Giving.

Traverse Health Clinic provides a safety net for the uninsured lower income adults in our area by giving them access to health care services. Uninsured residents of Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties who meet income and asset criteria are enrolled in a program which provides each patient with a primary care provider, either at the on-site clinic or at a volunteering provider’s private office in the community. They then have access to specialists, dentists, optometrists, a medication access program and outpatient services at the hospital, if needed. The Traverse Health Clinic currently has 1,500 adults enrolled in the program and requests continue to increase.