On Sunday afternoon-into-evening Don and Malu will be pouring wine at Cherries D’Vine, a second-year event at the National Cherry Festival in

Traverse City.

Hagerty Center at the Great Lakes Campus of Northwest Michigan College couldn’t be a more beautiful venue. It sits at the foot of the east arm of Grand Traverse Bay and overlooks both the Leelanau and

Old Mission Peninsulas, source of the wines being paired with food prepared by the culinary students right there at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute. With a slogan like “Eat, Drink and Be Cherry” you can’t go wrong.Lee has returned from the Riesling Rendezvous at

Chateau Ste. Michelle in

Woodinville, WA and reports, “
My trip was beyond my expectations simply because our wines were so well received by everyone there. To participate in joint tastings with wineries from all over the world including Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada and have the wines do as well as they did, makes me very proud of our efforts here in northern Michigan. When I say that the wines did well, I mean that in numerous comparative tastings our wines stood on their own as being distinctive, representative of the variety, and representing place (terroir.) For an industry as young as our own in Michigan, especially compared to some of the European regions, I left

Seattle
feeling very good about our place in the Riesling field.”
Meanwhile, back in the vineyard…things are cruising right along and it’s setting us up for a potentially brilliant grape year. The winemaking team is enthusiastic because if we have anything close to a typical fall, we’ll have plenty of time to fully ripen the fruit – and not just the white fruit but also the reds. (They hold this enthusiasm close to their chests, however, as they know what can happen with fall rains – as in 2006.) The vines have now just been tucked into their catch wires and probably are at their most visually attractive state.An early cherry harvest is well underway with both tarts and sweets in abundance. Cherry picking the lazy wayWhen complete, we’ll have picked (sweets) or shaken (tarts) over a quarter of a million pounds of fruit right here in our orchards. Don is taking the lazy way out…it’s that easy with the sweets, and they’re so delicious. Our five-county area accounts for over half of the total US production of cherries which includes over 70% of the US grown tart cherries

.

Chef Corey is starting to prepare dinners for our

Inn guests. He’ll be cooking Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, and serving from 6:30-8:30. Guests will have a choice of three entrees, an appetizer and salad, and dessert. The menu will feature many items from our farm and local purveyors and, of course, paired with Black Star Farms wines. Entrees will be in the $20-$30 range. If you have a room reservation you’d be well advised to make a dinner reservation by calling the

Innkeepers at 231.944.1251.
As summer is upon us, the

Inn is booking up quickly. We do have some openings mid-week, but our weekends are completely booked until November with the exception of August 24-26 and Labor Day weekend.

Next weekend is the target date for the official opening our farmers market. It will be open daily through the fall and at least on weekends through the winter and until May. We’ll carry the freshest produce from both our and other local farms and Michigan-made farm products. Pictures and a rundown of products next time.

Nic attends the farmers market in Traverse City each Saturday with fresh produce and the weekly bags for pickup by our CSA members. Because of the Cherry Festival, the market will be at the barns at the Village of Grand Traverse Commons instead of the usual site for the next two Saturdays. He reports that the corn was “well over knee high on the 4th of July.”

We’re hosting Winning with Women, Connecting with Men, a FREE Introductory Seminar for Men and Women, on July 12th. Led by Caren Field, a Limited Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, this co-ed seminar is designed to help you to understand the complementary design of men and women in order to create winning partnerships and true connection with the opposite sex. Call Caren at 231.392.2373 to reserve your spot for this fun and informative evening.‘Til next time – Up on the Farm.