|A rendering of the future tasting room.
A new winery is opening in a secluded section of Old Mission Peninsula this summer, but its out-of-sight spot won’t stay secret for long – Chateau Chantal’s award winning winemaker, Brian Hosmer has signed on to craft the wine, and Chateau Chantal will operate the winery and tasting room.
Hawthorne Vineyard, which sits high on a bluff overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay and is surrounded by protected woods and farmland, will be one of Old Mission’s largest vineyards, with 26 planted acres. Although on grounds once farmed by Chateau Chantal, the winery, vineyard and tasting room are under the ownership of Bruce and Cathleen Hawthorne.
“This is not just another Chateau Chantal,” Marie-Chantal Dalese tells The Ticker. “The wines will be produced, in partnership with the owners, exclusively from Hawthorne Vineyard’s grapes, at the Hawthorne Vineyard’s winery, and specifically for the Hawthorne tasting room.”
The couple has planted vinfera species grapevines – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Gamay, and Lemberger (the German name of an Austrian vinifera varietal also known as Blaufränkisch).
More vines will be planted, but the focus is on super-premium, single-varietal wines that reflect the vineyard’s specific geographical location on their elevated altitude on the Peninsula, says Hosmer.
“It’s been an interesting project working with the Hawthornes,” he says. “They bring a new perspective to the wines being offered from their estate, and it will continue to be an enjoyable challenge to create unique styles of wine for this property.
The winery/tasting room has a soft opening planned for August 1; the full tasting room, which will be a seasonal operation open May through October, will be completed in May 2013.
Find Hawthorne Vineyards at 1000 Camino Maria Dr. (off Peninsula Drive) about four miles north of TC. Learn more here.
Other Good Libations
Leland Township last week gave the go-ahead for Northern Latitudes Distillery, which is slated to open in the remodeled Thunderbird Gift Shop at 112 E. Philip Street in Lake Leelanau. On the menu: vodkas (flavored included); bourbon, rye, wheat and moonshine whiskeys; silver, gold and spiced rums; gin; and a host of liqueurs and seasonal specialties coinciding with the availability of certain crops, owner Mark Moseler tells The Ticker. Moseler says the distillery is in transit from Germany, and Northern Latitude's tentative opening is slated for middle to late July. He is currently waiting on official approval from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
In Garfield Township, there might be new life for the former Big Eazy. The township planning commission last week granted approval for the transfer of a liquor and brewpub license, plus dance and entertainment permits, from local restaurateur Ian Simpson’s Traverse Style, LLC to Copper Falls Ltd. for the 1796 South Garfield Road location. When contacted, Simpson declined to identify the owner of Copper Falls Ltd. or his or her intent. The transfer is still pending at the state level, according to Michigan Liquor Control Commission records.