Bowers Harbor Wine Dinner with Bradford Lewis

Bowers Harbor Vineyards has been a pioneer of “Dining in the Vines” and “Dining on the Fly” and now  is gearing up for a new frontier on Friday, January 25th – the first winemaker’s dinner inside their new tasting room. For this momentous occasion they have selected Chef Bradford Lewis to prepare a delicious 5 course dinner paired with their wines.

Chef Bradford Lewis

Chef Bradford Lewis

Bradford is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, studied under James Beard Award winning Chef Greg Higgins in Portland, Oregon and was the Sous Chef at Tapawingo Restaurant. Bradford also has Sommelier experience, authors a monthly food column for the Petoskey News Review and is the owner/chef of Food Forward Private Dinners, creating intimate, custom, dining experiences for small groups of people.

Bowers Harbor Vineyards Director of Operations Kristy McClellan explains that she got to know Bradford while both worked at Tappawingo and knew he was the right choice for this event. “When we were tasting it was clear he’s really committed to building the menu from the wine, getting really excited about things like ways to make the white pepper of our brut rosé pop. He has a passion for making great food and making the pairing work, and he has an equal passion for making it all fun and engaging. I knew that his laid-back approach was perfect for what we’re all about at Bowers Harbor Vineyards.”

Bradford agrees, “I like that Bowers is family – even their employees are extended family.  The dinner will be a family style dinner, meaning that the courses won’t be individually plated, and everyone will be sitting at a long table. I thought that it would be a fun and unique experience for the attendees, with the experience of tasting this great wine heightened by meeting new people. I’ve always believed that the food and wine can be meticulous and perfect without any pretentiousness.”

Bowers Harbor Tasting Room

Bowers Harbor Tasting Room

The menu (listed in full below) looks to be spectacular and you can get a recipe from the meal right here. Regarding the wine, Bradford says “The wines from Traverse City are very much a reflection of their environment, and winemakers here have found the varietals and skills to make beautiful wines here. What I’ve always enjoyed with Bowers Harbor is that the wine comes first. When you open their bottle, you’re opening history and sense of family – wines that are true to the grapes in them. They’re not taking the easy way – they’re paying attention to the grapes and the wine every step of the way.”

Call the tasting room at 231-223-7615 as soon as possible to secure your spot. All tapas, courses, and wines for $75 per person, including tax and gratuity. You can tour the new tasting room at Bowers via Google.

The Bold and the Beautiful Tasting Room Dinner Menu


House made lox, rye bread toast points, celeriac and fennel puree, mustard powder, and picallili

Manchego Roasted Pepper, pickled Raisins, Tapenade

Smoked paprika and cashew Bagna Cauda, Rosemary Chips

Gougeres, Zucchini and Onion and Mint Relish

Marinated Olives

Wine: 2009 Blanc de Blanc, Cuvee Evan & 2010 2896 Brut Rose


Arugula and Fieldgreens, with Pepitas, Grilled marinated Red Onions, Parsnips, Chevre Crostini, Squash Ving, Macerated Herbs, Pickled Beets.

2011 Pinot Noir, Nicholas


Braised beef short ribs, gremolata, carrot ribbons with dark olives, evoo, and 25 year balsamico, warm barley salad with homemade kraut.

2896, Langley Red Meritage


Apple cake, pickled grapes, macerated mint, blood orange or pomegranate sauce anglaise, berries.

Appletage Port-Style


Sharp, aged white cheddar or Leelanau Cheese Company’s Raclette with a dried fruit and wine chutney slightly after desert is served.

Winemaker’s Choice, pulled from the cellar!

Spencer Stegenga and Theresa Patterson tasting Block II RieslingFrom the “Another Coincidence” Department, Bowers Harbor just got the news that their 2012 Block II Riesling took Double Gold in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition! The Competition broke its previous record of having 5,825 entries from over 1,500 wineries, from over 25 states in America and is now the largest competition of American wines any where in the world.

This is the second year in a row that one of Bowers Harbor Vineyards has taken a Double Gold. Last year the 2011 Riesling, Smokey Hollow Vineyard took the honor. Besides winning a Double Gold with the 2012 Riesling, Block II Vineyard Bowers Harbor Vineyards had six additional winning wines.

2012 Riesling, Smokey Hollow Vineyard – Gold
2012 Riesling, Medium Dry – Gold
2012 Riesling, Langley Vineyard – Silver
2012 Pinot Noir, Nicholas Vineyard – Silver
2012 Riesling, Medium Sweet – Bronze
2012 RLS Reserve Chardonnay – Bronze