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In Northern Michigan, spring brings three things: morels, cherry blossoms and new wine releases. And we are thankful. Explore three wineries in Traverse City, Suttons Bay and Petoskey to see what they’re up to this spring.

Boyne Valley Vineyards

05325 S. US-131, Petoskey, MI | Boyne Valley Vineyards Website

Coming in June, Boyne Valley’s 2020 Estate Marquette is dry, lightly oaked and medium-bodied with notes of cherries, black currants, blackberries and pepper. Marquette grapes are a rich, robust red and were developed at the University of Minnesota’s Horticultural Research Center. The university is creating hybrid grapes that can be grown farther north where winters are harsh, such as the Petoskey Wine Region. Winemakers are experimenting with the grape in Northern Michigan, Vermont, Maine and Alaska.

To learn more about this exciting experimentation, view our related article: Meet the Marquette—Petoskey Wine Region’s “It” Grape.

More fun news: The winery is opening a treehouse tasting area (Yes, a treehouse!); follow on Facebook for updates. Also, a summer concert series runs from Memorial Day weekend through the end of October on Fridays from 4 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 6 p.m.

Indoors image of Boyne Valley Vineyards and seating area

Black Star Farms

10844 E. Revold Rd., Suttons Bay & 360 E. McKinley Rd., Traverse City | Black Star Farms Website

Black Star Farms has three white wines and a rosé release this spring, with new reds coming in the fall. 

Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay
2020 was a good growing season for chardonnay, says Managing Owner Sherri Campbell Fenton, and the 2020 Arcturos Sur Lie Chard “showcases it beautifully” with apple and pear on the palate and fresh cream in the aromatics (pair with local fish).

Arcturos Sauvignon Blanc
For an easy pairing with any spring meal, try the 2019 Arcturos Sauvignon Blanc, a New Zealand-style sauvignon with plenty of grapefruit, white flower and tarragon. The final white, 2020 Arcturos Semi-Dry Riesling, “breathes fresh white flower on the nose and dances with white peach and tangerine on the palate, finishing clean and perfectly balanced,” Sherri says.

Pinot Noir Rosé
And finally, the 2020 Arcturos Pinot Noir Rosé (always good for a spring release!), “shows abundant strawberry and cherry on the nose, with the berry fruit continuing through on the palate.”

Chateau Chantal

15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City, MI | Chateau Chantal Website

Chateau Chantal has two releases, a red and a white, to be particularly excited about. The 2020 Pinot Blanc is a crisp and refreshing dry white wine that benefited greatly from the warmth of the 2020 growing season, explains Director of Marketing Kyle Brownley. And the 2018 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Franc “is consistently one of our most sought after red wines,” Kyle says. With dark berry notes and soft tannins, it’s a must for any red wine drinker.

On the horizon: “We are also working on a piquette wine that is scheduled to be released in 2021. This low-alcohol, fruit-forward wine offers more versatility, and can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere!”

Find this article and more in the May 2021 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine; or subscribe and get Traverse Magazine delivered to your door each month.