Ice Wine Season

December 11, 2014: It’s a coincidental Throwback Thursday! Yesterday Black Star Farms released the wine we saw being made: 2013 A Capella Ice Wine.

Ice wine or ‘eiswein’ in the original German, is a rare dessert wine that requires great care and skill to produce. Last week Cortney Casey of Michigan By the Bottle was on Michigan Radio’s Stateside program talking about Michigan ice wines (at 44:20).

With the chill that settled over the area and the late harvest this year, it seemed to be a great time for a short article about this rare delicacy. In a happy coincidence, when I called Black Star Farms winemaker Lee Lutes on Monday, he told me that they’d be picking and pressing at Black Star Farms on Old Mission Wednesday. I hope you enjoy this photo feature on the process of making ice wine. Stay tuned to the end for a great video about the process too!


While December 11, 2013 was by no means the coldest December 11th on record (that would be 1977 at -11), it was a bone-chilling day with temps hovering around 11 degrees with a wind chill that never got above zero after 9:30 AM.

In short, as Black Star Farms winemaker Vladimir Banov explained, the perfect day for the ice wine harvest.

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Area wineries shine again at Michigan Wine Competition

Results from the 2014 Michigan Wine Competition have been announced and – as has been the case in recent years – our local wineries have performed very well. Read more

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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Left Foot Charley’s 10th Anniversary on June 14th

Since opening in 2004, Winemaker Bryan Ulbrich and the crew at Left Foot Charley have produced 10 vintages. On June 14, 2014 from noon – 3 PM, you will have a chance to taste wines from many of these vintages when they celebrate their 10th birthday with the Left Foot Charley Cellar Raid. This tasting will include a minimum of 10 wines along with charcuterie, cheese and “dramatic readings of their back labels.”

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Blessing the Blossoms (and vineyards) in Traverse City

“After a winter like the one we just had, I think we vinters can use all the help we can get.”
~ winemaker Robert Brengman

Asking for help from a higher power is something probably as old as agriculture itself, and something that goes back generations here in Traverse City. While the blossoms are being held up by the new “Endless Winter” plan we are apparently operating under, we hope that things will return to normal soon and offer these upcoming events as a ray of hope.

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Seeking the heart of Riesling on Chateau Chantal’s #DeutschlandExpedition

April is Michigan Wine Month, and many wineries are taking advantage of the national media focus on one of TC’s hottest industries to try and take their wine further. Going the furthest in one sense are Chateau Chantal Winemaker Mark Johnson and Director of Hospitality Brian Lillie. The pair have begun “#DeutschlandExpedition” – their quest for the perfect Riesling pairing in the heart of Riesling country in the Mosel and Rhine Valleys.

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2896: Bowers Harbor Vineyards Langley Vineyard, Wine & Dinner

Our latest eatdrinkTC photo contest has a pretty incredible prize, 2 tickets to the Bowers Harbor Vineyards 2896 Vertical Tasting Room Dinner on Saturday, May 17th.

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Artful Retreat: A Northern Wine Experience

Wine-Country-Art-Class“What a fantastic idea of pairing wine tasting and painting instructions in such a fun way so even the novice can leave with beautiful original artwork. And to end the evening with the chefs – what a fabulous meal!”

~ Jen Sutter of Traverse City on last year’s event

At eatdrinkTC, we’re always on the lookout for fun new ways to experience food & drink. The upcoming Artful Retreat at Black Star Farms on Sunday, March 23rd definitely fits the bill!

The day-long event is led by artist Stephanie Schlatter, and in addition to exploring the relationship between art & wine with your own hands and palette, there’s an evening dinner and an overnight stay at the incredible Inn at Black Star Farms.

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Bower’s Harbor turns sushi & wine into a true culinary experience

FLASH GIVEAWAY! Bowers Harbor is giving away two tickets to their Saturday Night Sushi Party! If you’d like to enter, just Facebook or Tweet a link to this article ( to eatdrinkTC (facebook/twitter) or Bowers Harbor Vineyards (facebook/twitter). We’ll select a winner at 4 PM today!

Sushi from Firefly in Traverse CityWe love to see new culinary opportunities pop up in Traverse City, and this Saturday (February 22) we’ll be at Bowers Harbor Vineyards for a fun night of sushi and wine. Firefly’s sushi chef has worked closely with the crew at Bowers Harbor to create a 5 course menu of sushi paired with wines (below).

The evening is about more than just sushi and wine pairings, however. The chef will be in attendance and sharing tips and demonstrating techniques of sushi rolling as you enjoy the paired menu at Bowers Harbor’s tasting room.

We’ve noticed that vegetarians can feel left out of pairing dinners, so it’s great to see that vegetarian and gluten free options are available – just ask about them when you make your reservation.

All courses with wine are just $58 per person and BHV Wine Club Members receive $10 off! To make your reservation, email Kristy at with your last name, number of guests, and your phone number or call them at 800-616-7615. Read more

Michigan Wildlife Dinner benefits Conservation Resource Alliance

Winter RiverThe Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) is a private, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to sensible stewardship of the land that serves a 13-county area in northwest lower Michigan. The wildlife & fisheries biologists, engineers and field technicians of the CRA work with landowners, agencies and businesses to plan and implement collaborative programs that enhance the habitat value and beauty of our region. On Saturday, February 8th The Boathouse Restaurant on Old Mission will host the Michigan Gourmet for Wildlife Wine Dinner to benefit the CRA.

CRA Development Coordinator Matt Thomas says “For years we’ve held our own wild game dinner at someone’s home with staff & supporters. This year Jim Morse, the chef at The Boathouse and husband of one of our staff members Casey Ressl, asked ‘How about we do this for you?’ It’s perfect for us, getting together to eat good wholesome things and talk about sustainable natural resources with old friends and new ones who we’ll meet through the Boathouse.” Read more