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Wednesday, July 3,2013

If you seek a pleasant peninsula wine...

Leelanau rolls out some winners for summer tasting tours

by Michael Brenton
Leelanau Peninsula is one of four federally approved viticultural areas in Michigan, and the winery scene there continues to expand and impress. An early core of four wineries — Boskydel Vineyard, Leelanau Wine Cellars, Good Harbor Vineyards, and L. Mawby Vineyards — has expanded to a growing list of 25, including some names not yet familiar to Michigan wine enthusiasts.
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Wednesday, June 5,2013

Brats and crafts

Festival highlights Michigan-made beer, specialty sausages

by Michael Brenton
On May 25, the Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa in Thompsonville, Mich., was once again the backdrop and showcase for Michigan's burgeoning craft brew industry at the 8th annual Michigan Beer and Brat Festival.
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Wednesday, May 1,2013

A Star is born

Leelanau Peninsula's Black Star Farms dazzles with wine dinner

by Michael Brenton
Traveling north from Traverse City on M-22 always promises to be an exciting vinous adventure. The Leelanau Peninsula wine scene continues to expand, with this year's new wineries bringing the count up to 25 — one-quarter of Michigan's total.
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Wednesday, April 3,2013

Best 'Foot' forward

Traverse City winemaker has a reputation for top-notch wines

by Michael Brenton
The route to making great wine can follow many paths. For many, the path begins with successfully navigating through the coursework of enology and viticulture programs at a university. For others, the path is defined by hard work, an eagerness to learn and an intuitive sense for making great wine.
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Wednesday, March 6,2013

Buzzing in Benzie

Wine enthusiasts can soothe their need for mead at St. Ambrose Cellars

by Michael Brenton
Tucked away in rural Benzie County, west of Traverse City, sits St. Ambrose Cellars, a honey of a winery — I mean, meadery. Given its remote location, it's unlikely to be an accidental drive-by while exploring the beautiful northwest region near Sleeping Bear Dunes. But whether skiing at nearby Crystal Mountain in the winter or touring in the summer, it is well worth taking the time to buzz over to St. Ambrose and check it out.
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Wednesday, January 2,2013

Fizz the season

Grower Champagne provides good value for bubbly fans

by Michael Brenton
Nestled along hillsides adjacent to tiny villages and riverbanks in the Champagne region of France grow grapes destined to create some of the finest sparkling wine in the world. These grapes will become "grower Champagne," also known as farmer fizz.
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Wednesday, December 5,2012

The most wonderful wine of the year

Annual unveiling of seasonal Beaujolais varietal is an event for wine fans

by Michael Brenton
Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrive! Translation: The new Beaujolais has arrived. What began as a local French tradition for efficiently creating and consuming wine from the current year harvest gradually morphed into a worldwide tradition and celebration.
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Wednesday, October 3,2012

Bringing home the gold

Annual festival featured bumper crop of Michigan wines

by Michael Brenton
Tasting dozens of wines from Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula at the annual Traverse City Art and Wine Festival this summer, it was evident that the wines of the region continue to reach new heights. Over 5,000 attendees seemed to agree, as the event showcased wines from 27 area wineries, plus cuisine from area purveyors.
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Thursday, September 6,2012

This cider house rules

Uncle John's hosting hard cider festival this weekend

by Michael Brenton
For generations, mid-Michigan residents — along with travelers throughout the Midwest — have enjoyed weekend jaunts up to Uncle John's Cider Mill, on US 27 in St. John's. Uncle John's is a frequent site for events such as car shows, ultralight aviation fly-ins, concerts and, of course, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable excursions. Now in its fifth generation of family ownership, what started as a simple fruit farm has become a full-fledged, family-friendly, agricultural tourist destination.
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Wednesday, August 1,2012

Cool wines for a sizzling summer

If you’re looking for refreshment, you should brush up on your German

by Michael Brenton
German wines do not seem to fly off the shelves in American wine stores, which is a shame because the wines tend to be high-quality, versatile, food-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Perhaps one reason they are ignored by some buyers is that German labels can be confusing.
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