Category Archives: MIDWEST

Participation Trophies at the 2015 Michigan Wine Competition

Over the past couple years, Michigan wine country has been whumped in the nads by Mother Nature, and it’s fair to say that deadbeat Father Nature has missed a few support payments too. The winter of ’13-’14 was desperately long, … Continue reading

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Buy My Book Or God Will Destroy You

Let’s not equivocate here, kay kay?  Even stone-cold atheists recognize that I am one of God’s favorites. My mother recognized it at birth when she noticed that my pupils were horizontal rather than round; my father recognized it during my … Continue reading

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Dishonest Non-Fiction is an Oxymoron

Gather ‘round, wiglets—let me tell you an honest story: Since accidentally checking ‘Wine Writer’ instead of ‘Unemployed Drunk’ on the back of the career-path matchbook, I have discovered that the two pastimes are interchangeable. Well, that’s not completely honest.  Actually, … Continue reading

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Hybrids on the Down Low

The vines to Tony’s Ciccone’s left are producing some flop sweat, but not many grapes.  The rows are showing unmistakable signs of desperation.  The trellises are in DEFCON 3, as though the hassles, deadlines and frustrations of producing commercial quantities of … Continue reading

Posted in Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bowers Harbor: The House That Jack Built

The yellow brick road that led to  Michigan’s top selling Pinot grigio began inside a stockbroker’s office, and the story gets stranger from there. Start with the winemaker and proprietor, Spencer Stegenga.  A lot of local agriculture families have made … Continue reading

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Dan Matthies and Chateau Fontaine: Please Exit Through The Gift Shop

I want you to take the following statement with a grain of salt, and then I want to sell you a desalination plant: Salesmen are born, not made—and Don Matthies was born to be a salesman. Whether he is hawking … Continue reading

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Willow Chardonnay With Humble P

When you reach the top of the gravelly incline that leads to Willow Vineyards, you are confronted with the most iconic view of Northern Michigan wine country that exists. Grape vines tumble down a fertile slope to a line of stately pines, … Continue reading

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