has been making wine on Old Mission Peninsula for the past 30 years.
This year, they’re putting out some brand new wines as well as old favorites, all while adapting to the coronavirus regulations.
Whitney Amann and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson take you to the vineyard to show you how they are relying on their surroundings in this week’s Brewvine.
“Bowers Harbor Vineyards has always honed in on farming, farming first. It’s a model of grape to glass and so as you can see behind me, we take immaculate care of our vineyards. It’s not just this row, it’s not just for this show,” said owner Spencer Stegenga. “We want to do the best we can as stewards of the land and really take care of our home.”
Those stewards at Bowers Harbor Vineyards have been busy working the land to bring some new releases to the winery this year.
“We released our first ever gruner veiltliner which is a fun Austrian grape. We also have a pinot blanc we’re really excited about from a couple single vineyards around the area here, and also a blaufrankisch which is an interesting grape variety. If you haven’t tried it come on out and definitely try it,” he said. “It’s a little bit lighter in color, similar to a pinot noir but has a little bit more robust characteristics to it in that it has, a little bit of a pepper character and some more of the dryer cherry type aromas and flavors too.”
Reds in the region are gaining popularity and with the great growing weather they have had so far this year, they say great things are in store for this year’s harvest.
“When we started back in 1990, there weren’t a lot of red wine producers up here. We’ve branched out, we’ve been making red wines for a number of years but it’s just kind of fun to add something new to the portfolio so that’s where that blaufrankisch comes in,” said Spencer. “This year is really panning out to be an excellent vintage. We’ve had record temperatures, the water is as warm as it’s ever been and we’re really excited about what happens come September and October.”
They are also excited about releasing one of their most popular varieties
“We just released our 2019 pinot grigio which is our flagship wine. We’re one of the largest producers in Michigan of pinot grigio. We absolutely think that that’s the quintessential wine for Northern Michigan in the summertime especially these warm, hot, muggy days. A glass of pinot grigio goes a long ways,” said the owner.
You can reserve a table online or just stop by the vineyard to get a taste of something new or relax with your favorite wine among the vines.
“Because we have this outdoor capacity things are spread out, people taking their time, enjoying the setting, there’s no rush here,” he said. “It’s just take it slow and enjoy your experience.”