Traverse City and Petowsky Bay, Michigan Wineries

6th July 2023

Michigan Wineries Glass of Bubbly

It was a lovely early fall wedding. I was the best man for a SF roommate and his bride to be in Traverse City on the banks of Petowsky’s scenic Lake Michigan waterfront. A more idyllic location or weather could not have been ordered!

The wedding was to occur on 2001, September the 9th. More fateful an occasion we should all be grateful we live and appreciate each of our lives. Both the bride and groom grew up in Michigan, she is a brilliant engineer CEO, while he is an able bodied man with street smarts who can design or fix anything manufactured. The groom has a blueprint mindset, and crafting skills that are the envy of every Lowe’s lumber crafts weekend warrior.

I’m grateful I was invited to join the party, that part of the US was unfamiliar to me. I’d heard of the Craft Cider and Lagers being created nearby, and of course the spectacular Folgarelli’s Italian Deli and Wine Shop is a must visit. My reputation preceded me with a confidential visit from the mother-in-law’s stern warning she’d better not get wind of shenanigans with my fingerprints attached. Moi?! Vous devez vous tromper?

So I made a beeline for Folgarelli’s to sus out the celebratory Champagne options. I was rooting around the lovely retail store located on a harbor sanctuary. I saw one of the groom’s favorite producers: Pol Roger, a cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1989 magnum, thinking that would fit the occasion perfectly!

This was September 7th, just enough time to chill the bottle and assemble the rest of the wedding celebrants.

A fantastic golf round (the groom did, with a hole-in-one on the twelfth’s highly perched par 3) at the Crown Golf Club course. So serene and beautiful, with excellently maintained fairways and greens and the guests perfectly dressed and well mannered, kind of a shock coming from laid back and rather casual behavior in California. I hope team groomsmen weren’t the fly in the ointment!

We had scheduled a Mawby cellars tour of Leelanau Peninsula slurping their sparkling and alternative wine options. Really top notch and fruity sparkling wines with my personal favorite their Brut. A cherry pits sturdy tannin with golden apple, and refined subtleties (which has became the aging base dosage wine for the 50th Anniversary cuvée in 2022)! And a Detroit cuvée Muscato Bay & Leelanau peninsula grapes blend that is aromatically spicy, and lowish alcohol with refreshing drinkability.

They also craft a Mead Honey sparkling wine that is delicious with roasted local game meats and/or sautéed freshwater pike.

My acquaintance Kendall-Jackson’s winemaker Jed Steele he transformed a wines stuck fermentation into the Kendall-Jackson sweet with dry intentions Chardonnay wine raison d’etre hat trick “I’d rather be lucky than good” has a nephew who makes sparkling wine around the Petowsky peninsula Adam Satchwell vineyard consulting for Shady Lane cellars. He was just beginning, betting on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay co-fermented wines, only in retrospect did the northern latitudes darling red grape Lemburger (Austria’s Blaufrankish) rechristened *Blue Franc* by Shady Lane did the wine PR marketing’s campaign develop teeth and traction!

I was terribly knackered post golf, with an al fresco Bar-b-Que requiring limbo dancing (I foresee lineament in my future), and a midnight Champagne toast. Who knew I’d barely rally for the main event? The cuvée Sir Winston Churchill did not disappoint, expressing the high toned dominance of Chardonnay in the Champagne blend; always balanced between beguiling elegance and utterly frivolous this wine wraps itself around your tastebuds and cozies up! I think all Champagne should be served out of magnum bottles.

I’ve had to work every day for my drinks, and it has been entirely worth it!!!

Image Credit: VineyardWaterfall

Peter Birmingham

Restaurant General Manager, Corporate Beverage Director, & Hospitality Consultant, with these qualities he represents a Triple Threat: a culinary tableside historian, an accomplished wine taster with the casual ability to make flavor relationships and beverage quality value accessible.