Walk with Spencer Stegenga, proprietor of Bowers Harbor Vineyards, through the gorgeous vineyards on the Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City in Northern Michigan, as he demonstrates tools of the wine world, including a wine refractameter. He stops along one set of vines to talk about the process of removing half the grapes on any given vine in order to allow the remaining grapes to grow in an incredibly robust environment.

Bowers Harbor Vineyards began planting vineyards in 1991 and has been a leader in certain techniques and varieties. For instance, Bowers Harbor began planting their vineyards in blocks in the 1990s, featuring certain varieties in each block. This allowed them to plant varieties based on specific soil types, etc. It was some years before many other wineries on the United States’ west coast sub-divided vineyards into blocks.

In addition, Bowers Harbor planted Pinot Grigio in 2000 and continued planting it through 2006. No other vineyard was planting Pinot Grigio which made Bowers Harbor the first Michigan producer of this variety, and ultimately, they became the largest Pinot Grigio producer in the state.

Bowers Harbor is a boutique winery that produces Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and their signature meritage blend the 2896, Langley Vineyard. Taste all of them in the Bowers Harbor tasting room, a picturesque, renovated horse barn from the land’s earlier years.

Tasting Room hours: May to October; Mon.-Sat. 10:30-6, Sun. 12-6. November to April; Mon.-Sat. 10:30-5, Sun. 12-5. Located at 2896 Bowers Harbor Road, Traverse City, 800-616-7615, info@bowersharbor.com. www.bowersharbor.com.