While up north at Crystal Mountain for a board meeting, the afternoon session is abbreviated so that many of the members can go golfing. I could hear the Siren call of the vineyards calling, so along with my Bride, came The Caller and his charming wife and we set out for some wineries and some tastings. In my book, it trumps golf every time, and we set off to the farthest winery from us and then we planned on working our way back to the resort.
L. Mawby Vineyards is a serious winemaker, and one of the wineries that my Bride would never forgive me, if we didn’t go there on the trip to Suttons Bay, even though they now have the Ann Arbor Vin Bar. This winery only makes sparkling wine, and notice that I did not say Champagne or even American Champagne, since there is almost a universal trade agreement that only allows Champagne from the Champagne district in France to be called it, though there are a few wineries that are “grandfathered” in that can still label their wine as “American Champagne.” Even though the winemaker is very serious, the winery is a fun place, and as we went to one of the tasting areas, our host for moment grabbed a hammer and hit a gong to announce that a tasting was going. They produce quite a bit of bubbly and the winery has two labels to differentiate the winemaking process that they use.
The M. Lawrence line is division is made using the bulk process, also referred to a “cuve close” or the “Charmat Process.” I will mention this group of wines from Brut to Demi-Sec, or the level of sweetness. The US label is a Brut wine made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Sex and if that is not a catchy name, I don’t know what is, but it was approved and I think that it is a pure marketing genius on their part, this is a Dry Rose wine made with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Muscat varietals. Green is a Dry wine made from the Cayuga and Riesling grapes. Sandpiper is a Semi-Dry wine that is a proprietary blend and that is all I was told. Freestyle is the label they use for trying different blends and this was the second series for this wine which is listed as Sec in the taste scale. Redd is a more fruit forward blend of Regent and Marechal Foch grapes, which are both Cold-Hardy varietals. Fizz is a Sweet wine made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. And the last of the M. Lawrence line is Detroit, which they refer to as a “Floral Hip-Hop Diva” and is a Sweet wine made from Riesling, Muscat and Traminette grapes.
The L. Mawby line is the “Traditional” line of Sparkling Wine, which used to be referred to as “Methode Champenoise,” but that is now a protected phrase, so the new term is Methode Traditionelle. I shall list these wines also from Brut to Demi-Sec. Talisman is a special wine made from Vignoles, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, aged in a “Solera System” of oak barrels of blended vintages. Cremant Classic is a Brut wine from their “Cremant Vineyard” as is entirely of the Vignoles varietal. Blanc de Blancs is a Brut wine made from the Chardonnay grape. Blanc de Noirs is a Bruit wine made from Pinot Noir. Tradition is a Brut wine made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blended from multi-vintages. Sandpainting is a Brut wine made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Vignoles varietals. 2005 Mille is a Brut wine made from Chardonnay and aged for seven years, before degorgement and bottling (I did not try this wine). Conservancy is an Extra-Sec wine, which is a proprietary blend that contributes two dollars for every bottle sold to the Farmland Preservation Fund of the Leelanau Conservancy. Consort is a Blanc de Blanc Sec wine made from the Chardonnay grape. Jadore is a Demi-Sec wine that they call an “Adorable Sweety” made from Vignoles, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
There was also another wine that was a special product of limited production that they offered to us and it was Domaine Leelanau “Leland” a Brut Rose made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Vignoles varietals. This wine is made from fruit of the vintage of 2012, and a dosage of 2014 red wine to produce the color of the wine. When they periodically make one of these wines, they name for another of the towns in the Leelanau Peninsula. Since we have had most of the wines before, and have some of them in stock in the cellar, we ended up buying a case of the “Leland.” The Caller and his wife took four bottles, and my Bride was thrilled with the other eight. Of to our next adventure.