Celebrate the season as our friends and family and save 20% on any wine purchase. Our tasting rooms have a great selection of wines that are perfect for any holiday occasion. Hostess gifts, appetizer wines, bubblies for New Year’s Eve and even after dinner cordials are no problem! Stop by and ask our staff to help you find what you are looking for.
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
1 butternut squash
1 acorn squash
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.
If you have visited during fall and winter Saturdays then you have probably tried our mulled wines. We have used several of our products with the recipe to the right. Some of our favorites include the Hard Apple Cider and Cherry Wine. This seasonal beverage will probably become a new favorite. It will warm your soul and make your house smell delightful!
All of the wines in the recipe can be ordered in our online shopping cart.
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
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.
We are honored and pleased to be voted the Red Hot Best of Northern Michigan in the TRAVERSE Magazine annual contest. There were 100 categories and over 10,000 voters on the MyNorth.com website. Categories range from Beach, Restaurant with a view, Teacher, Cherry Pie and many more! Voters choose Black Star Farms as a Red Hot Best in the following categories:
Local Rosé Wine – First Place, Black Star Farms Red House Rosé
Local Pinot Noir – First Place, Arcturos Pinot Noir
Romantic Hotel, B&B or Inn – Second Place, The Inn at Black Star Farms
Wine Bar – Third Place, Tasting Room at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay
If you haven’t already picked up the June issue of the magazine now is the time to do it! It is loaded with Red Hot Best winners, great summer event/travel ideas and so much more. We are thrilled to be amongst the winners in this contest and extend a BIG thank you to all of the voters. Cheers to all of our fans!
“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.
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.
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:
2011 Arcturos Pinot Noir
2011 Arcturos Riesling
2011 Arcturos Barrel Chardonnay
2011 Arcturos Dry Riesling
2011 Arcturos Cabernet Franc
2011 Tribute Riesling
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.
The Wineries of Black Star Farms are a unique operation in that more than 90% of its fruit is sourced from growers who have an ownership interest in the winery, in addition to their vineyards. These “wine growers” have sites that are well suited on both the Old Mission and the Leelanau peninsulas. It is from these quality sites that we are able to consistently source high quality fruit for our wines. To honor these growing partners we have created a new label that we’ve named Tribute. These are premium wines that showcase the superior nature of these vineyard sites, and are exemplary of the vintage from which they were created.
The first Tribute wine is from the Montague Estate Vineyard on the Old Mission Peninsula. Located approximately 6 miles north of Traverse City off of M-37 this vineyard is home to Riesling, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Blanc, Regent and Dornfelder. The 56 acres of land on this site are comprised of vineyards (14 acres) and natural areas protected under a conservation easement. The current owners Jay and Marie Hooper purchased the property in 1996 and began planting vines in 1999. The first small harvest followed in 2001 and they’ve been at it ever since.
“The property itself has quite a history beginning with Mr. Amos Montague for whom the vineyard and road it sits on is named after,” says Marie Hooper. Marie further provided insight into the ownership timeline that followed Mr. Montague and included two other individuals. “The original house and old barn foundation are still on site,” explains Marie. There have been renovations done but the Hoopers have kept most of the original flooring and woodwork. The beauty of their home is an integral part of the art on this label and was painted by local artist Christopher Smith.
The vineyards are planted on the higher elevation points on the property and are thus more suited to growing grapes. The advantages of where they are located include better water drainage and air flow (less chance of frost) as well as increased sunlight because they are both Northeast and Northwest facing slopes. Vineyards are managed by Jeremy Hooper who can be seen riding around in the “Grapes of Wrath Rover.” Invented by Jeremy this vehicle helps him move around in the vineyard rows when he is pruning and maintaining the vines.
“It has always been our dream to have a wine label and with the grower partnership we have with Black Star Farms it has become a dream come true,” says Jay Hooper who is also honored that this wine is the first one in this series.
Tribute to the Montague Estate Vineyard ($18/btl) is a dry Riesling from the 2011 vintage. There are citrus and stone fruits aromas followed by very subtle minerality. Fresh apple, orange and apricot fruit flavors combine with a hint of spice for a crisp and refreshing finish. It is a delightful wine well suited for many occasions. It is available for sale in our tasting rooms or by calling 231.944.1270.