Six Traverse City wineries have a lot to brag about today after tasting reviews came out in Decanter Magazine, one of the world’s top wine publications.
The magazine sent a reviewer to Northwest Michigan last year to rank the Rieslings of the region. The seven wines all scored over 90 on a 100-point scale, making them “Highly Recommended.”
“The continued recognition is a testament to our little corner of Michigan which has an abundance of vineyards on two outstanding grape growing peninsulas,” said Sherri Campbell Fenton, President of Traverse Wine Coast. “The oldest wineries here are 50 years old, and many are much less, yet we all continue to produce better and better wines.”
Campbell Fenton noted that while the review was only done on Rieslings there is growing recognition of other white wines like sauvignon blanc and pinot gris along with the red wines of the region.
"The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsula wine trails both provide optimal expressions of winemaking," Brianne Cohen wrote in her review. "They showcase the influence of the lake (Michigan) with very fruit-forward wines." She notes the two peninsulas produce about 55-percent of the state's wine production.
The growing respect for the wines is having an impact on travel to northern Michigan. “There is tremendous interest and passion for the wines in the region,” said Traverse City Tourism President, Trevor Tkach (Tah-koch) “It’s one of the top areas of interest for people who travel and vacation in Traverse City.”
Decanter Magazine is published in 90 countries and is viewed as one of the world’s top wine authorities. It annually hosts the Decanter Wine World Awards, which is one of the largest wine competitions in the world.
The publication scored these wines:
Wine Winery Score Comments
Whole Cluster Riesling – 2021 Chateau Grand Traverse 93 A quintessential well-balanced and food-friendly Riesling
Arcturos Dry Riesling – 2021 Black Star Farms 92 Taking home the ‘Best in Show’ in Canberra International Riesling Competition in 2018, the current vintage still delivers.
Dry Riesling – 2021 Verterra Winery 92 The strong acidity aids in food-friendliness. Enjoy with spring rolls, pad thai, or grilled peaches & burrata.
Select Harvest Riesling – 2021 Rove Estate 92 The acidity lifts the palate to keep the wine refreshing and cleansing.
Riesling Reserve – 2021 Brys Estate 91 With acidity and sweetness dancing in unison, this off-dry Riesling delivers precisely what it should.
Riesling Reserve – 2022 Brys Estate 91 Fruit concentration forms the backbone of this off-dry Riesling. The generosity of fruit and acidity cements this wine’s food friendliness.
Reserve Riesling – 2020 Shady Lane Cellars 91 The Riesling-like tension of rocks (wet stone minerality) plus fruit give a zippy character to this wine.
The full online Decanter article is available at: Decanter Magazine. Connection to Traverse Wine Coast is at