Rove Estate sits at the highest point of elevation on the Leelanau Peninsula and a family owned farm for five generations. Creighton and McKenzie Gallagher represent the sixth generation farming the family plot and the estate is named after the “Rovers” who had left Ireland around three hundred years ago and are part of the “Winegeese” from that diaspora. The estate pays homage to their legacy. Creighton had developed an appreciation and a passion for wine growing up in the Traverse City region.
In 2010 he was offered a chance to buy part of the family farm and fifteen acres of cherry orchards that needed to be replanted, and thus Rove Estate began. Rove Estate Vineyard and Tasting Room opened in the Spring of 2016. Not only are they a center for wine tasting, they offer live music year-round on the sunset patio and a fireside picnic area, they also have hiking/snowshoe/cross-country skiing amidst the vineyards depending on the season. The winery offers a couple of different wine club arrangements and they offer five tastings for seven dollars, they also offered three different wine flights of four glasses of wine. While and when we were there, they were offering seventeen different wines and three different ciders. All wines are from estate grown fruit and all carry the Leelanau Peninsula AVA.
The first wine that we tasted was the Rove Estate Gewurztraminer 2017 that was aged for six months in Stainless Steel. The wine offered the customary floral nose with a soft grapefruit tang and a short finish. We then tried the Unoaked Chardonnay 2017 that was aged for six months in Stainless Steel. This wine offered yellow apples and a very easy drinking crisp acidic Chardonnay. The last white wine that we tried was the Riesling 2015, which like the other whites were aged for six months in Stainess Steel. This wine had some rack time and offered some dried apricot, honey and peach and was what I would term as semi-dry with a medium length of time for a finish. We then tried the Cuvee Rosé 2017 which was a blend of sixty percent Cabernet Franc and the balance in Merlot. The wine was aged for ten months in two-year-old French Oak barrels. A very soft nose and a delivery of red cherry and a little spice with a decent finish. The last wine was the Cabernet Franc/Merlot 2014 which was half and half and was aged for fourteen months in French Oak. This was the most robust of the wines that we tasted and it offered dark fruit and spice and a decent finish.