We purchased orchard land in 2003, converted it into 25 acres of grapes and named it Crain Hill Vineyard. We added Cedar Lake Vineyard in 2008 and Timberlee Vineyard in 2012. All three vineyards are in the southeast corner of Leelanau County where our research told us to expect warmer mesoclimates and microclimates with good airflow and a solid history of sensitive cherry, apple and peach production at higher latitude than possible along the 45th parallel in most of the Midwest. We see sand, granite (field stone), gravel, loam, limestone with veins of iron in our dirt. Crisp (and even creamy), bright acidity is its signature takeaway. Flavors are defined in a clean, fresh presentation with hints of apple, pear, apricot, grapefruit from the whites, and pure cherry, red and black fruits from the reds. The definition of the flavors become pure when the vineyard and winemaking processes are in sync. The profile tends to be loamy sand (0-30 inches) and sandy loam (30-60 inches). These well-drained soils are good for inducing water stress, reducing vine vigor and increasing fruit quality, but still with enough clay and sediments to provide structure and fertility.
Styles of wine include;
Block 65 Blend, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay (Concrete and Barrel Fermented), Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Sparkling Blanc de Blanc and Rose, Pinot Noir Rose, Pinot Noir, Right Bank, Left Bank
Founded by brothers and Traverse City natives Todd and Carter Oosterhouse, Bonobo “offers world-class wines in a rustic, yet elegant atmosphere with a breathtaking view, and business model inspired by the close harmony of the traditions, philosophies and ecological integrities of the region.”
In 1987 Domenic, Ruth and Amy Lezzoni, and Charles Edson founded “Beautiful Lake” to create popular vinifera varieties, but also to sustain rare varieties of grapes providing special wine tasting experiences. Bel Lago also creates several unique hard ciders, including naked, hopped and flavored varieties.
Founder Kent Rabish returned to an old family tradition when he jumpstarted Michigan’s craft spirit industry in the early 2000s, resurrecting a small industry killed by Prohibition. His grandfather had made good use of excess local grain and corn with his still in the family barn. Today, Rabish carries on that tradition with a state-of-the-art distillery creating exceptional spirits from local sources.