The Hunt for the Reds of October on the Leelanau Peninsula

The Leelanau Peninsula is well known for its Riesling and other cool-climate white varietals and blends. What are often overlooked, however, are the high-quality Northern Michigan red wines being grown in the region.

The Hunt for the Reds of October takes place the weekend of October 24-26, 2014 along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. For the entire weekend, each of 23 participating wineries offer a free tasting of diverse red wines: big and bold Cabernet Francs and Merlots, aromatic and spicy Pinot Noirs and many more. The event is free to all who know the secret launch code: “The hunt is on!”

“We’re growing great reds on the peninsula, and we look forward to sharing them,” says Alan Eaker, owner of Longview Winery in Cedar. “Our Pinot Noirs are light and aromatic, showing more of the true characteristics of the grape varietal than many other regions. Our Cabernet Francs and Merlots are bigger and more complex with a memory of the Leelanau Peninsula in every glass.”

New to the event this year is the People’s Choice Awards, which allows participants to vote for their favorite red wines. Categories include Best Pinot Noir, Best Cabernet Franc and more.

In addition, the peninsula’s vintners are giving back to the local community that has helped make their businesses a longtime success. The event benefits the American Red Cross of Northern Michigan with a portion of the weekend wine sales from various wineries being donated to the cause. It’s a way to enjoy great wine for a great cause.

Funds are being raised to support critical services to those experiencing emergencies. The Northwest Michigan Chapter coordinates volunteers for both local and national disaster responses, provides vital services to the Armed Forces, teaches lifesaving health and safety skills as well as collecting blood from local donors throughout Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties.

In addition to raising awareness of the local services of the Red Cross, the Leelanau vintners are hoping that wine enthusiasts will discover high quality red wines produced in the region.

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