5 Northern Michigan Red Wine Blends

Fall’s cool evenings and bevy of rich flavors beg for vin rouge. Here are five legit local Northern Michigan wine bottlings to feed the need. Traverse food and wine editor Tim Tebeau talks Northern Michigan red wine blends from the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas, originally published in the October 2015 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.


Villa Mari Vineyards

Praefectus 2012

Cabernet franc grapes from a 10-year-old vineyard at the base of Old Mission are fortified with cabernet sauvignon and syrah grown in Mari’s hoop houses to produce a dark and brawny wine loaded with dark berry fruit, black tea and toasty oak tones.

Brys Estate

Cab/Merlot 2013


Brys winemaker
 Coenraad Stassen 
sorted meticulously 
to tease out ripe, 
forward black 
raspberry and 
blueberry notes from this blend of Bordeaux varietals. Seven
 months in barrel lends spice and structure.

Hawthorne Vineyards

Cab Franc/Merlot 2012


A 17-month élevage 
in French and American 
oak barrels brings dry, 
spicy dimension to the 
dark layers of tobacco 
and plum in this 
brooding blend from Hawthorne Vineyards.

Chateau Fontaine

Woodland Red 2013


A pleasing polygamy of syrah, merlot, cab franc and cabernet sauvignon, Dan Matthies’s Woodland Red shows loads of fresh berry fruit with subtle peppercorn accents. Finely merged tannins make this an ideal cocktail red or pairing for fall game birds.

Shady Lane

Franc ’n’ Franc 2012


Fragrant with briary berry tones sewn with dried lavender and cocoa, Adam Satchwell’s signature Franc ’n’ Franc is a manifold and well-muscled wine worthy of thick steaks over wood coals.


Learn more about the Grand Traverse Bay Loop along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail with this MyNorth Media video featuring Larry Mawby.


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