Welcome to our new periodic feature, Bottle Blurbs, that hooks you up with quick news tidbits passed along from Michigan wineries. Got something to tell the Michigan wine-loving world? Drop us an email!
- Many wineries are reporting an early harvest this year, including Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery on Old Mission Peninsula, where they're asserting that the 2012 vintage may end up being one of the best in the winery's history. The reason: an early, frost damage-free spring and a dry summer, which "has translated into amazing fruit with incredible intensity and complexity." Brys is weeks ahead of normal schedule and as of Sept. 26, had already harvested Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer. It was a similar story over at neighboring Chateau Chantal, where they quipped that the grapes will be great — if they can keep the birds from feasting on them. Black Star Farms is busily pressing grapes at both of its production facilities, on Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas. Meanwhile, down in Adrian, Flying Otter Vineyard & Winery, where the focus is on hybrids, completed harvest Sept. 10! Many wineries are posting images and info about the 2012 harvest on their social media accounts, so might be worth swinging by your favorite wineries' Facebook pages and/or Twitter feeds to check it out.
- New wineries are popping up right and left in Northern Michigan! Newcomers to the scene include Laurentide Winery on the Leelanau Peninsula (http://www.laurentidewinery.com) and Hawthorne Vineyards on Old Mission Peninsula (http://www.hawthornevineyards.com), both of which officially threw open their doors to the public Sept. 22. The opening of Blustone Vineyards (http://www.blustonevineyards.com) on Leelanau Peninsula also is imminent: Owner Tom Knighton said they're aiming for mid-October, and prospective visitors are encouraged to call (231) 256-0146 to verify whether they're indeed open for business.
- Round Barn Winery has super-sized its brewery capabilities by expanding its production facilities into downtown Baroda. To keep up with demand, they've set up shop in a former tool-and-die shop on Main Street, just around the corner from the main Round Barn Winery, Brewery and Distillery. Future plans reportedly include adding a small brewpub and beer garden by summer 2013. For more information, visit http://www.roundbarnwinery.com.