Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula: Home of Fine Riesling

After a two-day visit to Old Mission Peninsula (near Traverse City, MI) with the Kalamazoo Tasters' Guild, I am convinced (once again) that this is a special place for Riesling. Many other wines are produced--Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Grigio, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc--and I tasted many good examples of each. My favorites by far, though, were the Rieslings. The top three, for my taste, were: Chateau Grand Traverse Lot 49 Riesling, Chateau Grand Traverse Whole Cluster Riesling and Left Foot Charley Seven Hills Vineyard Riesling.

All three are dry but with great acidity from the cool climate of this finger of land that juts out into Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan. All three have textures that tickle and tease the palate. All were under $20. Googling these wines back home, I discovered that two British wine writers, Jancis Robinson and Stuart Piggot, share my enthusiasm for the two Chateau Grand Traverse wines. Robinson said the Lot 49 Riesling was by far the best of a lot of several hundred Rieslings from around the world that she was asked to judge.

I'll write more later about the wines I tasted on Old Mission. For now, what I can say is that if you live in or near Michigan and haven't put some Old Mission Rieslings in your cellar, you are missing an excellent opportunity.

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