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Wednesday, September 4,2013

Best of the best

Sampling the top drawer at the Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition

by Michael Brenton
Michigan vineyards continue to expand, Michigan wineries continue to multiply and Michigan wines continue to reach new qualitative heights. With every new vintage, it gets harder to be the best of the best.
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Tuesday, August 13,2013

On a mission

Touring the wineries of Traverse City's Old Mission Peninsula

by Michael Brenton
Jutting north from Traverse City is Old Mission Peninsula, a jagged tendril of land separating the west and east arms of Grand Traverse Bay and home to some of the finest vineyards in Michigan. Its rolling hills and varying soil types, combined with the moderating influence of Lake Michigan, create a superb environment for growing fruit which reflects its terroir.
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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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