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:

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Here’s the recipe for the soup we served last weekend for the Leelanau Wine Trail’s Sips & Soups. It was paired with our 2012 Arcturos Riesling and delicious!

Carrot Ginger Bisque with Coconut Milk and Candied Walnuts

Soup

  • 12 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 t minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 8 chopped carrots
  • 1 c coconut milk
  • 1/2 t white pepper

Cook broth in a large saucepan, reducing it by half to concentrate flavors. Heat oil in a medium sauté pan, add onion and garlic and sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Add ginger and carrot, cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coconut milk, cover and cook 5 more minutes. Add reduced broth to vegetable mixture and season with white pepper. Cover and cook until all carrots are tender. In a food processor, puree soup until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Candied walnuts

  • 1 c walnut halves/pieces
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 T butter

In a pan over medium heat, add 1 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 Tbsp butter. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently. When the sugar mixture starts melting, stir constantly until all sugar is melted and nuts are coated. Transfer to a sheet pan with parchment paper and separate the nuts from one another. Leave at room temperature to dry. Crumble if desired for garnish.

Spend your “Wine Wednesdays” on the farm and enjoy the extraordinary Harvest Dinners at the Inn.  The creative farmstead cuisine is inspired by the best local ingredients.  Seasonal vegetables, fruits and meats are sourced from northern Michigan’s finest farms along with our own in Suttons Bay. These exceptional food and wine experiences are hosted the second Wednesday of every month at the Inn.

Executive Chef Jonathan Dayton and Event Coordinator Stephanie Wiitala invite you to a culinary event you will remember forever! Pictures and sample menus (from previous dinners) are posted below.  Take a look and be sure to make your reservation soon.

Sample Menus:

Root Cellar Revival

Goose & Winter Greens

Morels in May

(please note each dinner will have a seasonal theme & menu items are subject to change)

Tickets for the 5 course wine paired dinners are limited to 30 guests and cost is $100.00 all inclusive of tax and gratuity.  Click here to order your tickets or call 231-944-1251.

Kick off the first Friday of each month at TASTES of Black Star Farms! Stop by and partake in our “Savor the Tastes & Flavors” experiential events. Learn first-hand about selected wines and spirits and their complementary food choices. Wine and appetizers provided at each event, $5 per person and $10 per couple.

June 6th – Fermentation, Distillation and Fortification

Are you curious about how alcohol beverages are produced? Expand your knowledge on the different processes and production procedures for wines, distilled spirits and more. Food pairing will be announced closer to the event.

Call 231-944-1349 for information.

It’s a new beginning for TASTES of Black Star Farms in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons! Wine and spirit sampling is still available along with a creative selection of cocktails.  Farmstead cuisine is the theme for the small plates menu that features Black Star Farms house cured meats, local cheeses, fondue and the famous Matterhorn Grill.

The newly renovated space has multiple seating options including private tables and comfortable bar stools. The ambient lighting makes TASTES a relaxing and friendly place to dine and sip on local beverages.  Singles, couples, friends, private parties are all welcome! Reservations are not needed and hours of operation are noted below along with information about upcoming events.

Hours:

Sunday from Noon to 4pm

Monday – Thursday 11 am to 7 pm

Friday & Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm

For information please call TASTES at 231-944-1349.

 

The long days of harvest are over; the color tour & wedding season have come to a close leaving the farm in a state of tranquility. The sublime winter beauty is combined with the daily happenings in the wineries, vineyards and inn creating a true sense of place that is special to both new and return guests.

Enjoy our newest video and discover the quiet nature of winter at Black Star Farms.

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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

4 apples

1 butternut squash

1 acorn squash

1 c hard apple cider

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.

 

 

 

Black Star Farms Mulled Wine Michigan Leelanau Peninsula

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

Gold – 2010 Leorie Merlot Cabernet Franc

Silver – 2011 Arcturos Cabernet Franc and 2011 Arcturos Merlot

Bronze – 2011 A Capella Pinot Noir and 2011 Arcturos Pinot Noir

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.

Michigan Wine Competition Black Star Farms Double Gold