“There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat…” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) and after that it’s off to the press where they become perfect to drink.

This past week both wineries have been pressing local pears for our Black Star Farms Pear Wine, Sirius Pear Dessert Wine, and Spirit of Pear Eau de Vie Brandy. The Old Mission winery processed 38 boxes of pears with all of the juice going into the Pear Eau de Vie Brandy – now being distilled at Old Mission. The Suttons Bay winery processed 20 boxes and still has another 20 to go. This juice will go into the lovely semi-sweet Black Star Farms Pear Wine.

The sweet smell of pears is abundant at both locations. The pears we’ve taken in this year are lovely – aromatic, sweet, and juicy.  One word – Yummy!P9100093

Cinnamon, sugar, and spice make our Hard Apple Cider oh so nice!  Enjoy a glass at your next tailgate, evening by the fire, or after a long day of raking leaves. We’ve tried many recipes and have found the one below to yield the best results.

1 bottle Black Star Farms Hard Apple Cider

6 oz. water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

a couple sprinkles of ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and give it a good stirring. Heat gently (for approx. 30 minutes), but do not boil, and do not stir again. Skim off the spices on top, serve and enjoy.

Delicious breads baked in our wood-fired oven at Hearth & Vine Cafe by Jen Welty from 9 Bean Rows are a hit at the Sara Hardy Farmers’ Market.  Becky Kalajian wrote about them in today’s Record Eagle.

Photographer Ken Scott is a member of 9 Bean Rows CSA and takes pictures of the bounty he receives weekly.  In April he posted a short video on YouTube that we thought you’d enjoy.

We are proud to announce our recent awards at the 32nd Annual Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition. This year the competition included 24 wine experts and a list of 395 entries from wineries across the state. Local judges included Amanda Danielson, owner of Trattoria Stella, and Master Sommelier Ron Edwards of Petoskey. Other judges included three Master Sommeliers, and internationally known authors, winemakers and wine educators.

Of the 14 Double Gold winners Black Star Farms received medals for the 2008 Arcturos Dry Riesling as well as the Sirius Raspberry Dessert Wine. The 2008 Arcturos Dry Riesling also took the special Judges Merit Award – a high honor award.

Gold medals were awarded to Black Star Farms 2007 Be Dazzled sparkling wine and the unique Spirit of the Vineyard Red Grappa. The 2008 Arcturos Late Harvest Riesling, 2008 Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay, 2007 Arcturos Cabernet Franc, are amongst many of our other wines that received silver medals.

A complete list of medal-winning wines is available online at www.michiganwines.com. The competition is sponsored by the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, which is administered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.


Did you know that there are approximately 7,000 cherries per tree? And that a typical cherry pie contains 250 cherries? That’s a lot of cherries!

At Black Star Farms we use a variety of sweet and tart cherries in our Cherry Wine, Sirius Cherry Dessert Wine, and our Cherry Eau-de-Vie fruit brandy. All of these products are made at Black Star Farms from fresh local fruit! Visit our wine page today to learn more about these products!

Martha Ryan’s Suttons Bay restaurant, Martha’s Leelanau Table features local products whenever available.   Her M-22 Omelette incorporating Leelanau Cheese Raclette is reported in today’s Traverse City Record Eagle story on this year’s edition of  Taste the Local Difference from the Michigan Land Use Institute.    The guide’s cover sports a photo by Ken Scott of his CSA share from 9 Bean Rows here at Black Star Farms.

The omelette sounds delicious.   Do try this at home!

Ryan has used Leelanau Cheese on her menu since she opened her restaurant in 2008. She recently came up with an “M-22 Omelette” that has potatoes, onions, greens — usually Swiss chard — and a stripe of Leelanau Cheese down the center of the folded omelette.

Local photographer Ken Scott spent a recent clear evening at the farm and has posted a video of the international space station and the space shuttle Discovery as they passed over the hoop house. Quite a sight!

Nic Welty, the farmer who runs our CSA, was quoted recently on NPR’s Marketplace talking about the benefits of hoophouses for winter farming. Click here to listen.

A recent posting in cchristie Food Journal tells of a visit to Black Star Farms and reveals Jen’s recipe for Apple Galettes…a perfect way to end your Thanksgiving – or any – meal.

Agri-tourism is on the rise. When I first heard of this travel option, I imagined a form of barnyard boot camp, complete with aching muscles and manure encrusted Wellingtons. But a visit to Black Star Farms, just outside Suttons Bay, Michigan, proved me wrong. This Kentucky-style luxury inn does more than cater to guests. It’s an “Agricultural Destination” with a vineyard, winery, CSA farm, livestock, Farmer’s Market, creamery and stable.

You can stay for a week, weekend or just drop by for a few hours. You can see cheese being made, pat a pig, sample wine, or — my favourite — eat.