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Northern Michigan Winery Presses On During Pandemic Challenges

In an unprecedented time for hospitality businesses, Left Foot Charley is pressing forward. Instead of hiding in their cellar they are opening its doors to the public. LFC announced that they will be adding an outdoor garden to their Barrel Room for a new wine by the glass and reserve tasting flight option.

Left Foot Charley is extremely excited to welcome Kristy McClellan to lead and help create these educational and focused tasting experiences in the Barrel Room. McClellan has over 20 years in the hospitality business. She first fell in love with wine working under Chef Harlan “Pete” Peterson and Master Sommelier Ron Edwards at Tapawingo Restaurant in Ellsworth where she worked during the summers while she earned her Hospitality Business Degree from Michigan State University. After working for J. Alexander’s Corporation as their wine buyer and bar manager in Denver, Colorado for several years, she decided to stay rooted in Northern Michigan. LFC Owner and Winemaker Bryan Ulbrich beams, “I couldn’t fathom adding to our staff a few months ago, particularly with a perennial All Star like Kristy. It was our Management team that really pushed me toward this decision because they recognize our ability to bring more options to the public with the right help. I am thrilled to be able to hand her the keys to our Barrel Room and help us share our wine with the world in this unique setting.”

Left Foot Charley has been making wine for 16 years and took over the former root cellar in the asylum in 2016. It is the primary aging space for their barrels. The building was constructed in 1900 to store root vegetables for the asylum and is largely in its original condition with some tasteful modern upgrades.

They plan to hold reserved seated tastings at 1pm and 3pm Thursday-Saturday for a guided taste through select wines from their library or wines that are yet to be released. At 5pm they will be open for wine by the glass from their selectively curated wine list and feature an appetizer from neighboring chefs. “We will be offering a distinct experience that compliments our current wine bar offerings but in an old world style. One parking space -two settings to enjoy our wine!” Ulbrich adds. The Barrel Room garden patio will have appropriately spaced seating for 24-30.

McClellan is energized to offer fun, delicious and educational tasting packages at the Barrel Room. “Bryan is one of the most passionate and dedicated winemakers I’ve ever met. Because of his appreciation and commitment to his vineyard growers, he continues to make some of the highest quality and revered wines in the Midwest and yet is so humble. I’m excited to show off his talents.”

Kristy looks forward to working with the local talents in the Commons and featuring pairings from James Beard nominated Chef Myles of Trattoria Stella www.stellatc.com, Chef Kaylee Davenport of James Perry Catering www.jamesperrycatering.com, and other amazing local Chefs. They plan to open the space officially on August 6th with the release of their 2017 Gitali Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine.

Check out www.leftfootcharley.com for reservation and pricing details.