7 Northern Michigan Rosés for Summer Sipping

Straddling the line between whites and reds, Northern Michigan rosés provide a splash of contrast during a summertime grill out. Learn about 7 such Northern Michigan wines below. The following content was first featured in the August 2014 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.


Flirtatious, fruit-driven and dangerously quaffable, dry rosés seem like a distillate of summer itself. Once maligned and misunderstood as fundamentally sweet, insipid and hangover-inducing (thank you, white zinfandel) rosé has re-entered the American consciousness as the refreshing, food-friendly red/white compromise it always should have been. Most learned winos will agree that fine pink wines come from coastal climates that we have in oeno-abundance here on the Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas. Driven primarily by pinot noir or cabernet franc, local rosés are vinified in stainless steel and allowed only short contact between the skin and juice, just enough to transfer a little color and structure and capture those bright cherry/berry fruit tones. Stick your toes in the water, and sip away on these fine local rosés.

Black Star Farms Arcturos Cabernet Franc Rosé 2013

  • Zippy cab franc rosé from a textbook vintage, Black Star’s pale pink 2013 sings with wild fruit, spice and sweet herbal undertones.

Blustone Pinot Noir Rosé 2013

  • Ripeness and acidity hang in righteous balance in Blustone’s bottling that delivers with strawberry and subtle spice.

Bowers Harbor Pinot Noir Rosé 2012

  • Summer strawberry and ripe melon frame this round and fruit-driven pink pinot from Bowers Harbor.

Brys Estate Pinot Noir/Riesling 2013

  • Brys’s proprietary pink blend of riesling and pinot noir hangs onto a little residual sweetness to carry bright red berry notes through this delicious sipper.

Ciccone Rosé 2013

  • An abundance of cabernet franc on the Ciccone estate drove the creation of this vibrant pink wine with forward strawberry fruit tones and subtle petillance (small amounts of CO2—fizz—in the wine).

2Lads Rosé of Cabernet Franc 2012

  • Weight and texture stand behind the freshness and deep raspberry, mint and vanilla notes of this pink cab franc from the lads.

Verterra Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013

  • Vinified to nearly complete dryness, Verterra’s freshly electric 2013 bottling is crisp and quaffable with red strawberry and cherry fruit on the nose.

August 2014 coverMore Northern Michigan Wine

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