We were enjoying walking up and down the main street in downtown Holland, enjoying the shopping, but you could tell that it was much quieter compared to the last time we were there. Also, most of the merchants were terrified that governor was going to close that part of the state down again and the common belief was that the area could not handle the lockdown a second time. We could only find one location for breakfast and it was the same for all the other tourists as well. We ended up having a late breakfast and not a brunch. As we were walking up and down, we stumbled upon a shop that we missed the last time we were there.
Warner Vineyards has a satellite wine tasting room in Holland, as well as in South Haven and Marshall, Michigan. The vineyards are located along the Lake Michigan Shore appellation. It was originally founded as Michigan Wineries in 1938. In 1971 they acquired Honel Wine Company of Sandusky, Ohio, one of the pioneers in Midwestern sparkling wine making. They are still using the techniques from the acquisition, as well as the equipment. In 1973, they changed the name from Michigan Wineries to Warner Vineyards. In 1976, President Gerald Ford, the first President from Michigan served their Warner Brut at the White House. Warner Brut was selected as the official champagne of Super Bowl XXIII in 1982 and the Super Bowl XL in 2006. The Warner Brut continues to the their most prestigious wine.
Wine tasting has changed since all the new rules have taken affect. I went to “belly-up” to the bar, for a tasting and I was chased to a table. The wine was poured into small plastic glasses that could be thrown away. I took photos of each wine, but alas with my iPhone that froze, I lost all the photos from the trip. Thankfully the family chronicler, AKA My Bride had taken some photos on her own. We were allowed to try five of twenty-seven wines. We started with two white wines. The first was the Pinot Grigio and it was a very light wine with a soft nose and a short finish, I have to say it was not the most interesting bottle of wine that I ever had. The second wine was their Chardonnay Reserve with a Lake Michigan Shore appellation which had more body and a soft buttery finish. The next two wines were reds and we were touted to try these. The 2Cab/Merlot Lake Michigan Shore 2017 was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot that had been aged for twelve months in Hungarian Oak. The nose was off and the finish left me tasting alcohol. The next wine was their Cabernet Franc Lake Michigan Shore, aged for six months in Hungarian Oak and I thought there was some terroir to be noticed, but at $34.99, I could not get excited about it, as much as our server was getting excited about it. The last wine that we tried also was highly touted and it was their Port, that was made to emulate the wines of Portugal, and this wine was a blend of Chancellor and Chambourcin and to us, it was the best of the five wines that we tried. We didn’t try any of their sparkling wines or their fruit wines. I would try their wines again, perhaps in a real wine tasting setting with actual glasses, and I think that it might have been better, if they sold a tasting glass, and allowed a rinse between tastings, but then again that may be against the dictates of governor.