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Iron Horse: Part Two of My California Wine Adventure

While on my trip to the bay area my family and I spent a day wine tasting in Sonoma. We went to 4 wineries and tasted a lot of wine! The first winery we went to was Iron Horse. Iron Horse does manly sparkling wines and has a gorgeous outdoor tasting room that overlooks the vineyards. We were actually doing a tour here so we got to hear about how they grow their grapes and actually got to see part of the sparkling wine making process.

On the tour they took us down into the production area and we actually got see how the sparkling process works. There are several different ways to get the fizz into sparkling wine. One way is simply injecting CO2 like they do in soda, this produces larger bubbles that fizz out pretty quickly. Iron Horse uses the traditional method in which the wine goes through a second fermentation process. Read the rest of this entry

Wine Tasting Michigan Style

The Girls at a Winery in Northern Michigan

Born and raised in Michigan, I have spent many a time “Up North”. My parents have owned a condo in the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan since I was little and, as an adult, I’ve visited a lot of the wineries up there.  Some of you may be surprised to know Michigan actually has a lot of wineries, and the Leelanau Peninsula has almost two dozen of them. Over Memorial Day weekend, I was very excited to introduce Lissette to some Michigan wines and catch up with some of my friends from home while we spent some time at my parent’s condo in beautiful Glen Arbor.

Unless you buy a lot of wine, wine tasting can be a fun and inexpensive way to spend a weekend, and Michigan, just like any wine region, has some really good wines and some not so good wines to try. I think the first time people go wine tasting in Michigan there is a little skepticism. A lot of people assume all the wines will be sweet or that Michigan knows nothing about how to make a nice wine, but these are false assumptions.

Here’s what you can expect when you are tasting in the Leelanau Peninsula. At almost any vineyard you visit you are going to find Rieslings and Pinot Noirs. It’s also common to find a cherry wine or two and some Cab Francs. There tends to be a lot more white wines made up this way than red, but almost every winery will have a least some red to try. There is usually a good mix of dry wines and slightly sweeter wines. A lot of the wineries list their wines in order of sweetness and even provide the percentage of residual sugar to help patrons choose the right wines to try. You will also find that a lot of the wines are made in small quantities and may be hard to find outside the area (especially outside  Michigan) and some may not be sold anywhere but at the winery. Read the rest of this entry

Michigan’s Best Kept Secret

I’m a city girl through and through but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy getting out into the relaxing atmosphere. On our trip to Michigan I learned some pretty essential things..1.) Road Kill in Michigan is a way of Life 2.) Never go feet first into a Jacuzzi if your intention was only to put your feet in, you might find yourself 3 feet underwater 3.) And the most important lesson…Michigan Wines are impressive and the state’s best kept secret.

The Michigan Tourism Board should really add in some marketing copy for Tim Allen to talk about the wines that are created in Michigan. I bet they’ll see a pickup in tourism.

Before I begin telling you about the wines I loved and bought I’d like to give a shout out to Mr and Mrs Clark. Thanks for letting us staying at your place while we ventured out into the Michigan Wineries. And thanks Dana for driving and Rio thanks for just being adorable.

Let’s get this party started shall we? Read the rest of this entry

Not all Wine is made in California

Seattle 2011

I know that some people feel that all good wine comes from California but believe it not there are plenty of good wineries outside of Napa Valley. Don’t get me wrong I love California wines but everyone needs to expand there horizons. I recently made a trip to Seattle where I was pleasantly surprised.  I did some research on the kind of tour I wanted and I found a company that was both reasonable and focused on both well known wineries and smaller wineries.(Side note: If you get a chance to visit Seattle make a reservation with Bon Vivant Wine Tours he’ll arrange everything from pick up/drop off to lunch).

Our day started at 10am and we headed off to some Woodinville Wineries. The drive was about 25 minutes from Seattle. The schedule called for 5 wineries and a stop for lunch. May seem like a lot but if you don’t like the wine remember to dump it in the bucket. No sense sipping a wine that doesn’t satisfy the palate. Read the rest of this entry

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