For the last couple of years, I have had a request from a friend, that I grew up with from the old neighborhood that I should make it a point to go to Tabone Vineyards. I know a lot of people that don’t drink wine as their beverage of choice, but I guess by now they know that I am rather partial to wine for myself. Tabone Vineyards is located in Old Mission Peninsula just north of Traverse City. They have been growing grapes there for about twenty years and in 2014 they established themselves as a winery, instead of growing the grapes for other wineries.
One of the first things you notice when you arrive at Tabone Vineyards is the Maltese Cross symbols, and when I was a kid, just outside of my immediate neighborhood in Detroit, one could find a concentration of Maltese families, including their own newspaper, the things that I remember. As I was trying to get myself situated for the tasting, I mentioned the friend that recommended that I go to the winery, but the name was lost on the hostess that was taking care of us, and I decided not to press the issue. I guess I better stick to blogging, because I do not have the tenacity to be a newspaper journalist from the old days. Once again, the tasting was priced at eight dollars for five samples, and there was the suggestion of getting a Cheese and Charcuterie Plate as well as the offer to buy a club membership, and we declined on both offers and we nursed the five tastings between the two of us.
The winery offered twelve different wines to try, and we had to pick out five wines to try; and all the wines were estate grown. The first wine that we tried was the Bubbly Riesling 2016 and the wine spent eighteen months in what they called “bottle conditioned” and there was no residual sugar. This was a very crisp and dry sparkling Riesling, and I believe my first one in this category. I have some problems with real dry wines, but I did pick up some apple tones with this wine. The next wine that we tried was the Chardonnay 2016 and this was their “unoaked” wine that was aged for eighteen months in Stainless Steel. This was a nice fruit forward wine and some good acidity, so that you would want another glass. The next wine that we tried was the Chardonnay Oaked 2016 and I was told that this wine had twelve months in Stainless Steel with some Oak Chips and then six months in Oak Barrels. I was surprised that this wine offered more citrus and some terroir compared to the Unoaked version. We then tried the Semi-Dry Riesling 2014 that was aged in Stainless Steel. I got some pear and some terroir from this wine. The last wine that we tried, and it was offered in two different versions, but we were touted to try the Red Wine 2016 as compared to the Red Wine 2017. Here we had some more of the old school Michigan Red wine with a blend of Baco Noir, Marechal Foch and DeChaunac and aged for six months in Hungarian Oak. It had a little bit of cherry and a lot of the spice that is prevalent for this wine. I liked this wine for some barbequed food.