Michigan Uncorked is a regular column by Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis, writers who are passionate for Michigan and authors of award-winning From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries. Learn all about Lorri & Sharon and their book at www.michiganvine.com.
You won’t find a Riesling on the tasting menu at Domaine Berrien Cellars. Vintners Wally and Katie Maurer prefer crafting varietals less familiar in Michigan â€“ and more familiar of the RhÃ´ne River Valley region of France.
One of our favorites is dry, smooth Marsanne. The French grape smoothly releases aromas of honeysuckle which complement the taste of shellfish, lobster — and even hamburgers.
â€œIt’s a white wine that goes with everything,â€ Wally shares.
Domaine Berrien Cellars is located in the Fruit Belt of southwest Michigan in Berrien County. Vineyards surround the winery and tasting room, with some of the oldest vines planted by Katie’s late father, Tom, who shared Wally’s passion for winemaking. Today, Wally and Katie grow a number of varietals on their 80-acre farm and are becoming known for both RhÃ´ne-style wines and dry reds, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc.
Another RhÃ´ne-style white wine we recommend is Roussanne, a tasty barrel-aged, complex wine that is lighter in body than Chardonnay. Only 10 cases are left, so contact Domaine Berrien at (269) 473-WINE to get this unique wine delivered to your door.
For red wine enthusiasts, we suggest the Cabernet Franc, the favorite of Wally’s late mother, Kathleen, who lost her battle to breast cancer. Try this medium-body, oak-aged, elegant French-style wine with grilled steak in your backyard this summer. In honor of Kathleen, the Maurers donate $1.00 per bottle to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.