Located in the heart of Northern Michigan Wine Country, and only fifteen minutes from downtown Traverse City, the Inn at Black Star Farms is the perfect choice for your next up north getaway.  Whether you are looking to take it easy or tackle an adventure there is plenty to do and see in Leelanau County.  Here are some of our favorites that are only minutes away!

 

  • Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail:  Just a short walk from your cozy room start with a complimentary tasting at our exclusive wine-club-members-only Barrel Room.  Here you will experience a level of refinement above and beyond our standard tasting.  Then journey out on to Michigan’s oldest wine trail where 24 wineries are divided into 3 mini-trails for easy touring.
  • Hop Lot Brewing CompanyFeeling a little “wined out”?  Head to this unique four-season microbrewery with a one-of-a-kind beer garden.  Bonfires, outdoor games in the summer, igloos in the winter, and live music are some of the fun things offered by our neighbors to the north.
  • Grand Traverse Bike Tours:  Get outdoors and explore wine country with a self-guided bike tour along the paved Leelanau Trail.  Bike delivery, roadside assistance, wine purchase pickup and picnic lunch are all included!
  • Explore DeYoung Natural Area:  Preserved by the Leelanau Conservancy and located on Cedar Lake, this 191 acre natural area combines a historic farmstead, 2 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails and a fishing/viewing pier.
  • Golf Bahle Farms: Enjoy majestic views of Leelanau County while playing this public, 18 hole course that weaves through rolling hills and working cherry orchards.
  • Visit Fishtown: Located just 9 miles away in Leland, Fishtown is one of the only working commercial fishing villages in the state of Michigan.  Walk along the docks where original fishing shanties (some over 150 years old) now house boutiques, art galleries and specialty food shops.
  • Experience the Village of Suttons Bay:  Quaint and charming, this year ‘round coastal village is home to plenty of specialty shops, galleries, restaurants, parks and beaches.
  • Catch a Movie at The Bay Theatre: Located in downtown Suttons Bay, this historic landmark dates back to 1946.  Completely renovated, this charming single screen theatre plays first run Academy-Award winning blockbusters, as well as independent and foreign films.
  • Leelanau Cheese Company: Once housed in our Suttons Bay tasting room, our friends can now be found a quick ¼ mile south on M22.  Sample and purchase their award-winning Raclette and Fromage Blanc.  Depending on when you visit, you might even catch them making cheese!
  • 9 Bean Rows Bakery: Owners Jen and Nick Welty started their up north farming/baking/restaurant ventures right here at Black Star FarmsNow their friendly Lake Leelanau bakery is a must stop for a variety of rustic breads and traditional European pastries.

Lately we have been asked, “What’s floating around in my bottle of Artisan Red?”  The short answer is that it is sediment, and believe it or not, it’s a good thing.  Sediment in wine can be a result of a few different things:  dead yeast cells, grape solids, or tartrates.  The sediment in the Artisan Red consists primarily of tartrates which is the natural result of tartaric acid from the grapes, and is the base for cream of tartar (used in baking).

Tartrates formed in this wine because it did not go through complete cold stabilization.  Cold stabilization is a winemaking process that consists of lowering the temperature of a wine to near freezing, thus allowing solidified tartrates to separate and fall to the bottom of the tank.  The tartrates can then be filtered out of the wine.   Our premium red wines are rarely cold stabilized completely because of the time they spend in barrel and the blending process necessary for these barrel-aged wines.

The next time you find sediment in your bottle of Artisan Red, think of it as a positive.  This wine was not overly processed, and as a result more of the rich flavors that you have come to love are left in the bottle.

Here are a couple easy ways to avoid getting sediment in your glass of wine.  Decant your wine, this should be done after you let your wine stand upright for a period of time (at least 30 minutes), allowing the sediment to settle to the bottom of the bottle.  Decanting can then be done by slowly pouring your bottle into another container, such as a decanter, glass pitcher or carafe.  Need that glass of wine a little sooner?  A quick fix is to pour your wine through a fine mesh strainer like a metal tea or coffee filter.  Follow one of these steps and you will always enjoy your wine sediment free!

You might have heard us say this before, but the Artisan Red is the perfect base for sangria!  Check out Old Mission team member Leslie’s favorite recipe below.

 

Artisan Red and Blackberry Vodka Sangria

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 bottle Artisan Red
  • 1/2 cup Vodka
  • orange slices, lime slices, and/or fresh blackberries

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup blackberries, water, and sugar in small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer about 10-15 minutes or until blackberries are very soft.
  2. Strain liquid several times and discard fruit. Pour into pitcher. Add wine and vodka. Add orange slices, lime slices, and fresh blackberries as desired. Cover and refrigerate at least a few hours but overnight is preferred.
  3. Serve over ice and garnish with additional fruit as desired.

Are you looking for a way to spend a fun Saturday with the one you love in the Traverse City area? Join the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula for the annual Romancing the Riesling on Saturday, February 17th. This wine trail event celebrates the beloved Riesling grape, the varietal Northern Michigan wine country is most known for. Each winery will be featuring their favorite Riesling alongside delectable food offerings from local chefs and area restaurants.

Black Star Farms Old Mission will be serving farm-raised goat tacos with cilantro slaw, courtesy of our very own Hearth & Vine Café, paired with the 2016 Arcturos Semi-Dry Riesling. Other incredible culinary offerings at Black Star Farms Suttons Bay include intimate Friday Night Dinners at the Inn, elegant wine paired Harvest Dinners and interactive Cooking Classes.

Event day only, you will be able to taste a very special 2016 Sparkling Riesling. This limited release wine is only available in our two Traverse City tasting rooms. Quantities are low, so make sure to get your bottle of this fun and fruity bubbly before it sells out!

We hope to see you in our tasting room on Old Mission Peninsula. If you are joining the fun, make sure to check in on social media at Black Star Farms so we know you visited! Also use #WOMPRomance for your chance to win a WOMP prize package.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

This is the perfect way to explore Old Mission Peninsula in its winter splendor!

May is Michigan Wine Month, and we are asking you to celebrate it with us!  During the next four weeks we will be featuring a Facebook contest that will allow you to win some great prizes and learn some fun facts about our industry!  Here is how it works:

 

  • Each Monday starting May 1st, we will be posting an industry related question on our Facebook page. You will then be directed to our website to search for the answer.  All of the correct answers (entered as comments on to the post) will be collected, and a winner will be chosen at random and announced the following Wednesday.

 

  • The scheduled prizes include:
    • Monday, May 1st – $25 gift card
    • Monday, May 8th – $50 gift card
    • Monday, May 15th – $75 gift card
    • Monday, May 22nd – The Grand Prize!  $100 gift card and a VIP tasting for 2 in the exclusive wine club members only Barrel Room.

 

  • Play every week for a better chance to win the Grand Prize!  All of the correct answers for the month will be entered into the final drawing.

 

  • Gift cards do not expire, and are redeemable at our 2 Grand Traverse area tasting rooms and our online store.

Cheers to the Michigan Wine Industry!

Bottle shot of sparkling, rosé, and red wine from Black Star Farms.