If you are like me, you may have heard of Bay Harbor or mistaken it for some of the other harbors both in Michigan and across the country. My Bride was going up for a board meeting and I was going along for the ride, actually I was doing the driving, so that she could keep up with phone calls and emails, even though she had made sure that everyone knew that she would be away from her desk, but that doesn’t seem to work, especially with coworkers. Not only that, but she actually scheduled to see two clients that were kind of (?) on the way up, oh well it broke up the five-hour drive.
I know, I was drifting off course again, but that is rather common for me. Bay Harbor is in a sheltered bay on the south shore of the Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. It is actually a residential and resort community that is part of the City of Petoskey. In the late 19’th Century it actually was a limestone quarry and then it became Petoskey Portland Cement. The mining and cement operation were a center of great employment for years and encompassed twelve-hundred acres and five miles of prime Lake Michigan shoreline. In the 1980’s the company ceased production and left a brownfield of chromium brick, asbestos, coal and two-and-a-half million cubic yards of kiln dust. In 1993 several parties got together to clean it all out and it became the largest reclamation in North America. As we pulled off U.S. Highway 31 into Bay Harbor, even though I knew we were in Petoskey, I knew that we were not in Petoskey. The collection of homes, boats, yachts and the marina that I saw as we were driving around made me wonder what the homes of the owners looked like, if this was just their vacation home.
When we finally found the Inn at Bay Harbor, which is not an “Inn” as my mind’s eye had preconceived and it was only a couple of blocks from the “downtown” shopping area and the actual marina. I was a little miffed, when we pulled up and found that our room wasn’t ready, so my Bride grabbed her laptop and found an area to keep working. I on the other hand started to survey the area, and decided I needed something chilled to chill my mindset. I discovered the Vintage Room, which was a bar, wine bar and a private restaurant and they were not averse to pouring me a glass of wine, so things were looking up. I wasn’t looking for anything special, something chilled and I selected a glass of Tommasi Viticoltori Le Rosse Pinot Grigio DOC 2017 and it was a very generous pour in a Riedel wine glass and things were looking up. Tommasi Viticoltori was founded in 1902 in the Veneto region and they are famous for their Amarone and many other wines as they have slowly increased their holdings in Lombardy, Tuscany and Puglia and now are in their fourth generation of family running the winery. The wine is pure Pinot Grigio and Le Rosse is a single vineyard in the Valpolicella Classico district and I would venture that the wine was aged for a short time in Stainless Steel, because it was very fresh (green), and offered a distinctive “flint” terroir. I had just gone out in the lobby that my Bride was working so she could have something cold and refreshing, then I stepped out the back door to look at the bay and saw Harbor Springs on the far side. As I came back into the hotel, one of the workers at the front desk came by an handed me the keys to the room, which I thought was a great touch, so that we wouldn’t have to stand in a line again. Things were definitely looking up, as the Bell Captain unloaded the car and took everything up to our room.