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.
Adam Kolodziejski made his first batch of wine from wild grapes found along the Tobacco River. A biology major at Central Michigan University in 1968, Adam picked the grapes, threw some yeast on them and drank the juice. â€œIt was really bad wine,â€ Adam laughingly grins.
More than 40 years later Adam has had plenty of time to fine tune his craft. We tasted several delicious, handcrafted wines made with Chambourcin, Chancellor, Vidal, Riesling, Baco Noir and Muscat in Adam’s impressive 2,500 square foot winemaking facility in Rose City.
The high elevation of surrounding Ogemaw Hills gives Adam plenty of airflow for his vineyard located on nearby farmland. While he patiently waits for his vines to mature and tries to outsmart the deer, raccoon and birds that ate his first harvest, he brings in grapes from Lemon Creek in Berrien Springs. Soon, a small vineyard will complement his Rose City tasting room in northeast Michigan.
Married to Nationally-Acclaimed Poet Nancy Kolodziejski, Adam says they are a match made in heaven. â€œI’m polish; she’s a blond,â€ he chuckles.
While Nancy focuses on the tasting room ambiance, Adam keeps busy managing his vineyard and crafting his wines. He also runs his successful, 39-year-old Admin Industries, manufacturer of industrial dock equipment and supplies, and holds a patent on the dock leveler.
Expect familiar and not-so-familiar wine varieties when you visit Rose Valley Winery. Adam is keen on growing cold-hardy grapes, including native-to-Michigan Edelweiss, St. Pippen and Frontenac. Above all, though, expect to meet one of Michigan’s newest winemakers who is passionate for making great wine.
Rose Valley’s wines can also be sampled, along with several other Michigan wines, at the inaugural Tawas Uncork’d and Untap’d event at East Tawas Harbor Park on August 1 from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.