We invite you to experience Black Star Farms Suttons Bay in its glorious winter splendor!  Explore our easy to moderate trails then warm up with a glass of mulled wine and a hearty bowl of chili on our Terrace Patio.  Round out your excursion with a tasting featuring our award winning wines, ciders and spirits.  We encourage you to bring the whole family, hot chocolate will also be available.  This is your chance to take in the woods, orchards and vineyards on our iconic estate while beautifully blanketed in snow.  We will be offering this fun adventurous event through winter, weather permitting. No reservations needed, just stop by between 12 and 4!

  • Onsite snowshoe rentals will be available Saturdays and Sundays 12 PM – 4 PM beginning January 7th
  • Special holiday dates!  The week of December 26th through December 31st  12 PM-4 PM
  • Snowshoe rental – $15, snowshoes must be returned by 5 PM
  • Chili with the fixings – $6
  • Mulled wine – $5
  • Hot Chocolate – $2
  • Wine tasting – $7

 

Despite the thaw, we still have snow in Leelanau County. Come for some fun!

Have your own snowshoes (or skis)?  You are welcome to explore our beautiful trail system anytime!

Chili provided by our very own Hearth & Vine Cafe.

Snowshoe rentals brought to you by Grand Traverse Bike Tours.  Check out all the adventures they offer here.

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SUTTONS BAY — The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Black Star Farms and Groundwork Center brought together industry and community leaders to outline the success and potential of solar energy in Michigan at Black Star Farms earlier today with hopes more businesses would follow the lead of clean, renewable energy options. Currently, state lawmakers are discussing the future of Michigan’s energy policy, and there is a dire need for renewable energy options to be included in that future. The presentation was followed by a tour of the solar panels built in the vineyard.

“What we can see at Black Star Farms is a business that has continued to function with profit and success while also nurturing and protecting the environment surrounding it,” said Eric Keller, Northern Michigan Regional Coordinator with Michigan LCV. “In Lansing, the benefits of renewables need to be involved in every conversation so we don’t leave our state in the past while leaving our future to unknown dangers, both to the environment and our communities.”

Director of Operations and Chief Financial Officer of Black Star Farms, Michael Lahti, shared how their 53kW solar panel array was made possible through state and local programs including: REAP Grants, PACE Finance, Michigan Saves and Accelerated Depreciation.

“It was an honor to host so many clean energy professionals, along with elected officials, members of the media and the public, to showcase how sustainable energy solutions such as solar, high efficiency HVAC systems, and LED technology have transformed Black Star Farms,” said Lahti. “Environmental responsibility is a high priority for all of us in Northern Michigan, and we feel our region is a perfect place to implement renewable energy options.”

Dan Worth, Clean Energy Policy Specialist of the Groundwork Center, provided resources and updates on solar energy in northern Michigan, Tony Anderson, Director of Cherryland Electric Co-Op, discussed Cherryland solar resources and policies for businesses, and Cory Connolly, Clean Energy Project Manager for Lean and Green Michigan, discussed PACE financing for large solar projects.

“Groundwork is thrilled to partner with Michigan LCV and Black Star Farms to highlight the hard work that Black Star Farms has done to go solar,” said Worth. “Through events like this and our Shines Program, we are excited to work with local businesses and residents to connect them to the resources they need to go solar themselves.”

Join us for the grand reopening celebration of the new Hearth & Vine Cafe at Black Star Farms Suttons Bay on Saturday, May 21st from 12 pm to 8 pm. See the wonderful changes inside and the newly expanded patio. Enjoy 50% off food all day from our new seasonal menu. Treat yourself to one of our delicious craft cocktails or award-winning wines, check out the full drink menu here. Also new this year, howlers of Black Star Farms Hard Cider to go!

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The quieter months of spring are the perfect time to visit Northern Michigan and give yourself the gift of relaxation!  Sunday -Thursday, during the months March and April, reserve one night at full price and get the second for half off!  Additional amenities include afternoon refreshments, evening wine reception, full gourmet breakfast, complimentary bottle of our Red House White wine, V.I.P. wine tasting in the Barrel Room at our on-site tasting room, and enjoyment of our sauna, library, and recreational trails.

Little Details to Note:

•       Vouchers cannot be combined to extend stay.
•       Reservations required; subject to availability.
•       Not valid on existing reservations.
•       Merchant cancellation/re-scheduling policy of 14 days in advance of scheduled arrival; voucher subject to forfeiture.
•       Voucher cannot be combined with any other discounts, vouchers, or gift certificates.
•       All deal components must be redeemed during one stay.
At these prices we will fill up quickly, so call the innkeeper at (231)944-1251 to reserve your stay now.  You may also book online here using the promo code MARCH50.
View More: http://odenandjanelle.pass.us/bsfinn  DSC_0017BARREL ROOM TASTING

kathryn aryes

With their continued dedication in offering consistently exceptional experiences, our events team is excited to bring you a fresh and educational take on the wine paired dinner.  Due to the overwhelming success of the first dinner, we invite you to join us for an encore presentation of this special culinary and nutritional event on February 12th at 6:30 PM at the Inn at Black Star Farms. Kathryn Ayres, a local dietitian and licensed nutritionist, uncovers the science behind the French’s ability to have a diet high in saturated fat yet maintain one of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world.  The evening will include a presentation that explains how to benefit from including wine and foods such as brie cheese in the diet. This will be followed by a three course wine paired dinner that parallels the presentation. Gain insight into living a healthier life while enjoying the wonderful wines and farmstead cuisine of Black Star Farms!  For more information on Kathryn Ayres MA, RD, LD/N visit her website Meals for Medicine.

Seats are limited so order your tickets today at My North Tickets.

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Don Coe

 

The team that turned a 120-acre equestrian facility into a renowned agricultural destination south of Suttons Bay has announced an ownership transition. Don Coe, who with partner Kerm Campbell turned Sport Valley Farm into Black Star Farms and created a world-class winery, bed & breakfast operation and agri-tourism destination, is retiring. Kerm and wife Sallie Campbell have bought out partners Don and Marylou Coe to take full ownership of the 17-year-old operation.  “I am 75 years old,” says Coe. “I made a promise to my wife – it’s time for us now. It is time to retire.”

Campbell, the farm’s major grape grower/supplier, assures that guests will experience business as usual.   “We have assembled a top-notch team who will continue providing guests with the most remarkable experience … Our family is looking forward to providing more great experiences in 2016 and beyond,” says Campbell.

Coe has a long history of promoting Michigan’s agricultural industry, serving two terms on the Michigan Commission of Agriculture & Rural Development, including a stint as chair. He received the Milliken Distinguished Leadership Award from the Michigan Land Use Institute in 2012 for his work in advocating for farming and the importance of an agricultural economy.

 

Got the mid week blues or need a great gift idea for that oh-so-hard-to-buy-for person?  Take a break (or send your loved ones) to the Inn for two nights in your choice of available rooms on Sunday and Monday or Wednesday and Thursday for only $438.45 (inclusive of tax and fees) during the dates of December 1, 2015 and May 1, 2016.  Can’t find a date that works at all?  After May 1, 2016 the promotional amount of this certificate can be used as a dollar value towards a stay indefinitely.Winter-at-Black-Star-Farms-003

Additional amenities include afternoon refreshments, evening wine reception, full gourmet breakfast, complimentary bottle of our Red House White wine, V.I.P. wine tasting in the Barrel Room at our on-site tasting room, and enjoyment of our sauna, library, and recreational trails. This promotion stands alone and is not valid with any other discounts or offers.
Little Details to Note:
•       Vouchers cannot be combined to extend stay.
•       Reservations required; subject to availability.
•       Not valid on existing reservations.
•       Merchant cancellation/re-scheduling policy of 14 days in advance of scheduled arrival; voucher subject to forfeiture.
•       Voucher cannot be combined with any other discounts, vouchers, or gift certificates.
•       All deal components must be redeemed during one stay.
•       After May 1, 2016 promotional value will be applied to regular rack rates.
Call the innkeeper at (231)944-1251 to make a reservation, or book online (using the promo code ROH).
You may also purchase this great deal as a gift certificate.

 

On Friday, October 16th the results for the 16th annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge were announced.  The Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC) is a wine competition created in Canberra, Australia, “to highlight the grape that defines white wine, Riesling”. The Riesling Challenge attracts wines from Riesling producing countries around the world and is the most significant event of its type in the southern hemisphere. Riesling producers competed not only with producers from their region, but with nearly 500 other Rieslings from across the world.

Riesling Challenge

Black Star Farms entered two wines into the challenge, the 2013 Arcturos Dry Riesling and the 2013 Arcturos Riesling (medium-dry).  The 2013 Arcturos Dry Riesling was one of only 13 wines awarded an Elite Gold with a score of 96, and the 2013 Arcturos Riesling was awarded a Gold with a score of 95.  To see the full list of results go to: Canberra International Riesling Challenge/Results.  The 2013 vintages are not currently available through retail, however there will be an announcement when they are released.

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“It’s always an honor to be recognized for the quality of our region. 2013 was certainly an exemplary vintage showcasing many of the best attributes of Riesling growing in this climate. These medals will further raise the standards by which we continue to create our wines.” – Lee Lutes, Head Winemaker

 

For the past 2 years Traverse City has hosted its own celebration of this revered varietal with the “City of Riesling”.  This 2 day event features a global Riesling-specific public wine tasting and educational seminars led by some of the most renowned Riesling experts in the industry.  Watch for this event in Summer 2016.

Michigans-Best-Winery-with-John-GonzalezJohn Gonzalez has become one of the most tireless promoters of the Great Lakes State through his “Michigan’s Best” series showcasing our state’s best food and drink experiences. Last week he and his crew unveiled their selection of Black Star Farms as Michigan’s Best Winery saying, “It’s hard to argue with a great business plan, incredible wine, attention to detail and a sense of Michigan pride.”

John continued:

General partner Don Coe and his staff took us on an incredible journey to a one-of-a-kind “agricultural destination” that features a tasting room, distillery, an Inn, restaurant and farm on the Leelanau Peninsula. Founded on 160 acres in 1997, you can find Black Star on both peninsulas, as well as at a downtown Traverse City tasting room. “We want to be an agricultural destination,” Coe said. “We’re here to celebrate the land and the unique soil we have here.”

Couple-Walking-up-to-the-InnBlack Star Farms offers a great variety of wines; all stack up against the others. The A Capella Ice Wine was served at The White House twice; for George W. Bush in 2002 and Barack Obama in 2008. The vineyard distributes 22,000 to 25,000 cases of wine throughout Michigan each year.

You can read on the see the other wineries on the list. We were very happy to see that the Leelanau & Old Mission Peninsulas notched 7 of the top 10!

Photographer and wine aficionado Jeff Schrier joined John on the tour, and you can click to see his photo gallery from their visit to Black Star Farms on mLive. Here’s John’s video interview with our managing partner Don Coe:

Coryn BriggsTraverse City Tourism has announced that they have hired Coryn Briggs as their new digital marketing & design specialist. From their news release:

A Detroit area native, Briggs earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a masters in Recreation and Tourism Management at Michigan State University. She has lived and worked in Traverse City since 2004 and spent the past five years as director of marketing at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay. She will manage Traverse City Tourism’s website content, social media outlets and connections to third-party sites, conduct its web-based marketing and newsletter campaigns, and assist in design projects.

“Working with social media and graphic design were the parts of my job that I loved the most at Black Star Farms, and it will be wonderful to be able to narrow my focus down to those areas in this new endeavor,” she said.

Briggs enjoys baking, thrift/antique shopping and running (she completed her first half marathon this June at the Glen Arbor Solstice Race) and likes to visit Traverse City’s many brewpubs, beaches and recreational trails. She is married to Jay Briggs, winemaker at 45 North Vineyard and Winery. They have two young daughters.

“We are thrilled to have Coryn join our marketing team,” said Traverse City Tourism Marketing Manager Mary Winowiecki. “Both her professional experience and her extensive knowledge of the area will greatly benefit Traverse City Tourism as we continue to grow our online presence.”

While we are sad to see Coryn go, we are happy for her and know that Traverse City’s destination marketing effort is welcoming a great addition!