TBT: Ed O’Keefe of Chateau Grand Traverse

This year Chateau Grand Traverse celebrates their 40th Anniversary, and we’re happy that CGT has allowed us to share this feature for a “Throw Back Thursday” about one of our area’s wine pioneers as anticipation builds for the first City of Riesling next weekend (July 27-29, 2014).


“When I founded Chateau Grand Traverse in 1974, I knew that my determination to produce world-class Riesling wines in northern Michigan would create controversy, draw cynics, and ultimately revolutionize the Michigan wine industry.”

by Tricia Phelps

Since 1978 when founder Edward O’Keefe harvested his first commercial crop, the number of vineyards in the region has grown exponentially. Grape cultivation and wine production has developed an entire industry that was nearly nonexistent in the area forty years ago. Today, over thirty wineries exist between the Leelanau & Old Mission Peninsulas and the wines they produce are starting to gain recognition worldwide.

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First Annual Family Style Lobster Boil at Bowers Harbor


Gather your family and friends, put on an apron, grab a mallet and prepare to dine on a whole Maine Lobster at Bowers Harbor Vineyards first annual Family Style Lobster Boil on Saturday, July 19th at 7 PM in the vineyard.

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Green Cuisine July 16th at Food for Thought


Green Cuisine is an annual event that takes place next Wednesday (July 16) from 5-8 PM at Food For Thought near Empire. The annual event offers a chance to meet and sample the works of local food and beverage artisans, tour Food For Thought’s organic farm and green buildings and socialize, learn and have fun in a beautiful setting. They also have a “green lifestyles” tent where you can learn about other green local products and services.

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Traverse City to host City of Riesling


Global Riesling champion Stuart Pigott says, “Riesling’s range goes from bone dry to honey sweet, from feather light to tongue heavy and every single gradation and combination of those things. No other grape variety can do that.”

As the author of the Best White Wine on Earth: The Riesling Story, Mr. Pigott ought to know. Stuart has spent years traversing what he calls “Planet Riesling” in search of the essence and spirit of this remarkable grape. He will bring his book and his insight to Traverse City July 26-28, 2014 as the featured guest for the inaugural City of Riesling. City of Riesling will be a multi-faceted exploration of this diverse and exciting wine set in one of the hot new Riesling regions. Read more

Brengman Brothers New Release Party

Brengman Brothers at Crain Hill Farms

Brengman Brothers invites you to their annual summer tasting of wines from the new and recently bottled vintages this Saturday, July 5 from 11-7.

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4th of July at Left Foot Charley

Left Foot Charley invites you to their pre-fireworks event featuring some BBQ, Jambalaya, Maxbauer’s hot dogs along with live music by Don Julin and Billy Strings!

BBQ grill is firing up at 5pm and music starts at 6:30 – click below for more from Facebook.

Leland Wine & Food Festival This Weekend


2014 Leland Wine Festival Poster by Kris Love

The 29th annual Leland Wine & Food Festival is a northern Michigan tradition that takes place this Saturday, June 14th from 12-6 PM in the Leland Harbor. Just shy of its 3rd decade, it’s the oldest wine festival in Michigan and has expanded to become a 2 day affair.

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Bowers Harbor Vineyards 2012 Block II Riesling for Wine Wednesday

Kristy tastes 2012 Block II Riesling from Bowers Harbor Vineyards (via Facebook).

Grape to Glass in Northern Michigan with the Wine Warriors


The Wine Warriors reality TV show is holding a Kick-off Reception this Thursday (June 12) at Kirkbride Hall at the Grand Traverse Commons. Read on for the details, information and a great video from the show that follows the trials and tribulations of winemakers & staff at Chateau Chantal, Good Harbor Vineyards and Chateau de Leelanau, along with appearances by Larry Mawby.

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Happy Birthday Ed!

Ed O’Keefe of Chateau Grand Traverse is one of the pioneers of our wine industry and still going strong. More about Ed in the CGT history!