As part of our celebration of Michigan Wine Month, we’ll be 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.
(Old Mission Peninsula AVA)
The meso-climate of Old Mission Peninsula is unique not only in the state of Michigan but probably in the world. Lying on the 45th parallel (like Bordeaux, Milan, etc.), the Peninsula stretches 18 miles into Grand Traverse Bay and is only four miles wide at the broadest point. We are virtually surrounded by the 600 feet deep waters of East and West Bays. It stays cold longer in the spring, protecting us from the late frosts and warm longer in the fall when we benefit from an extra six to seven weeks of ripening. The rolling hills and lake-effect snow ensure that no Arctic blasts of freezing air will stay around long enough to harm our vines.
Since most of the volatile compounds which give any fruit its flavor are formed during the last few weeks for ripening, warm (not hot!) dry conditions in October are key in creating the fully ripe, unique wines of the Old Mission Peninsula. Our maritime climate in the middle of North America’s vast continental climate provides these conditions for us. We get the warmth when we need it most. The fantastic growing seasons provide us with wines that match and even top the best wines of many of the worlds more famous growing regions.
–Mark Johnson, Winemaker, Chateau Chantal
Get information about the wineries & winemakers of the Old Mission Peninsula including their upcoming Blossom Days event (May 17 & 18).