As part of our celebration of Michigan Wine Month, we’ll be (re)featuring excerpts on each of Michigan’s five wine trails (and one taking you beyond the trails) from the Michigan Notable Book award-winning From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries.
(Lake Michigan Shore and Fennville AVAs)
The Lake Michigan Shore viticultural area, with its blend of northern continental and maritime climates, produces distinctive fruit forward wines of unparalleled quality. The region hugs the southeast shore of Lake Michigan, extending from the Michigan-Indiana border north 70 miles to the Kalamazoo River at Saugatuck. Wines grown at the southern end have a noticeably lower acidity than the more minerally wines from the northern extreme, and the ability to ripen long season reds tends to diminish as one progresses from south to north.
Overall, the long growing season, with its cool ripening period during the last 60 days, results in wines having an intense fruit character not found in very many wine growing regions. Even the flagship red wines, like Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, have a distinctive fruit-forward character that is not commonly found in warmer areas. The firm acidity of the white wines and the mild-mannered tannins of the red wines along, with the distinctive fruit character make Lake Michigan Shore wines very “food friendly” and “European” in character.
– Doug Welsh, Winemaker, Fenn Valley Vineyards
Get information about the wineries & winemakers of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail including their upcoming Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival (June 19, 2010).