Getting away for the weekend is important–for rest and relaxation, and for the soul. And we all know Michigan is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s why we live here. The crunch of the gravel as you step out of your car, fresh air filling your lungs and a cool breeze sweeping across your face, it’s, well…yeah, I’ll say it. It’s Pure Michigan.
As a lover of wine, from root to rim, I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to live in a State with such passionate winemakers. In many of my blogs, I talk about heritage, ancestry, and family dreams. In Michigan, these ideologies are strong, with families like The Simpsons of Good Harbor, The O’Keefes at Chateau Grand Traverse, The Braganinis of St. Julian, and numerous husband and wife teams throughout the wine regions.
One of these husband and wife teams is Susan and Bill Braymer of Laurentide. They are brand new to distribution, and I just tasted through their balanced, elegant, delicious wines. Years ago, waiting in line for a table in Traverse City, I noticed their bottle of Pinot Noir being displayed proudly as the house red. Whether it was because the name was so close to my surname, Laurie, or I just liked the design of the label, I picked it up and snapped a picture. When I returned home and back to work, I asked all of my distributors about the wine and no one had it, until now.
As my distributor poured, he told us the story behind the name Laurentide. Centuries ago, a large sheet of ice formed over Canada and a large portion of northern North America. This large glacier was called the Laurentide and created our much-loved Great Lakes. As the glacier receded, it left behind rock and fossils that added to the rich soil character of the Leelanau Peninsula. Susan, who studied at UC Davis in California, studied the topography and terroir, deciding at last to plant cool climate grapes. It’s no surprise since Riesling is king amongst the Great Lakes, but the Braymer’s wanted to set them apart by producing low yields and high quality. By tasting them, I can tell you, that’s just what they did.
Pinot Gris 2013:
Star bright and floral, this Pinot Gris is fruit forward with pear and stone fruits. The finish is dry and the acidity is mouthwatering. It’s truly delicious.
Unoaked Chardonnay 2013:
Creamy and round with a hint of balsa wood and apple, this is a great expression of Chardonnay.
Emergence White Blend 2013:
Floral and sweet apricot notes on the nose with candied citrus peel and stone fruits on the palate, the Emergence White is sweet but clean and refreshing.
Semi Sweet Riesling 2013:
Expressive and flinty on the nose with peachy citrus notes on the palate, the semi-sweet Riesling is not cloying at all. It is a perfect pairing for summer-fruit-based desserts or spicy Asian cuisine.
These layered, expressive whites are outstanding examples of Michigan’s finest. I highly recommend grabbing these up as soon as possible since they are made in such small batches. Put them somewhere dark and cool, and bring them out on warm, sunny summer days when the produce is freshly picked from your garden and friends gather around the patio table.
What is your favorite new Michigan winery? Where do you like to visit? Tweet me at @ninoswineexpert!