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Brewvine: Chateau Grand Traverse Newest Wine Variety

For this week’s Brewvine, Whitney Amann and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson take us to for a very early look at their newest wine variety and how they’re getting ready for the growing season.

“My father who originally started Chateau Grand Traverse, we started in 1974 so a lot of the vines that were planted in the seventies, not all of them died but they get hit by tractors and weather takes them out and they start to become economically unfeasible to maintain so we’ve gone through and we’re updating our vineyards and just this spring, we’re going to be planting a new vineyard, our first time ever, we’re going to plant sauvignon blanc so we’re kind of excited about that,” said Eddie O’Keefe, president of Chateau Grand Traverse.

Chateau Grand Traverse spent the spring working in their vineyards planting new vines and varietals.

Now it’s just a waiting game of tending vines until they can finally see sauvignon blanc in their tasting room.

“So usually four years on the ground or technically the vines fifth year is when you start to get a commercial crop out of it so five years from now, maybe 2027, you’ll start seeing Chateau Grand Traverse sauvignon blanc for the first time,” said O’Keefe.

While you wait to sample the sauvignon, you can try out a wide range of rieslings, or taste their latest vintages that will be bottled and available soon.

“All the rieslings that we produce from last year are just exceptional, well-balanced and acidity and sweetness and fruit and I just think the 2021’s are going to be excellent,” he said. “A couple of the wines that we’re really excited about, one of them is our pinot noir vin gris, which is a pinot noir made in a rosé style so it’s a fresh but rich style wine and it’s just a really unique product for this area and finally, after a couple of years, we are going back to producing the National Cherry Festival wine so we’ll be bottling that in early June and it will be coming out on the shelves sometime in early July.”

Chateau Grand Traverse offers a true grape to glass experience and has something for every wine-lover’s taste.

“We probably at any given time might have between 35 and 40 different styles of wine for people to come out and try and again, being in the wine business every year is different so every vintage is different and so there’s always something new and changing here at the winery.