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Michigan Uncorked: Old Mission Peninsula Rocks First-Ever Cabernet Franc Challenge

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.

Love Cabernet Franc? Head to Old Mission Peninsula. The top three honors for the first-ever Michigan Cabernet Franc Wine Challenge were exclusively awarded to wines grown from the region.

The winner of the competition and the coveted Harding’s Cup was Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery’s 2007 Artisan Series Cabernet Franc. Brys Estate also took the bronze third place medal for its 2007 Cabernet Franc. And, just down the road from Brys Estate, Two Lads Winery won the silver second place medal for its Reserved Cabernet Franc.


The Michigan Cabernet Franc Wine Challenge, held at the historic Park Club in downtown Kalamazoo in August, was the brainchild of Terry Stingley of Harding’s Friendly Markets based in Kalamazoo. Twenty-two wines from 18 Michigan wineries and one wine from the Chinon region of the Loire Valley of France (all 2007 vintage), were evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges.

“It was a great opportunity to taste an exceptional array of well-made wines from a stunning Michigan vintage,” said Master Sommelier Claudia Tyagi, who was one of the six judges for the competition. “It is so exciting to realize that we are on the ground floor of something huge for Michigan’s future. It was not inappropriate to compare these wines to a classic French Chinon, but our beauties left the Chinon in the dust.”

Photo credit: Patrick Brys