L. Mawby is a unique vineyard and winery because they specialize in only champagne style sparkling wine. Located at 4519 Elm Valley Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682, it is a beautiful spot to stop along your Leelanau wine trail.
They have an entire array of sparkling wine from driest with their Blanc de Blanc to sweetest with their Detroit. You’ll find a bubbly for you and one for the hard to please.
There is a Plum Market near my old home in Ann Arbor, which is similar to a Whole Foods, where they host different featured wine tastings each week, usually on Thursdays. On October 19, they were hosting L. Mawby, with the owner Larry Mawby himself. They featured 8 wines from dry to sweet. Started with a Blanc de Blanc, moved to the Tradition, then Grace, and Talisman. These wines are all made in the bottle fermentation process where the yeast, wine and cultures are all put into the bottle and ages in the bottle not barrels. These wines are also all 100% grapes grown at their vineyard.
This lead us into the M. Lawrence wines, which are not made from 100% of the grapes grown in their vineyard and usually consist of a blend of grapes from downstate, California, Oregon and Washington depending on the season. We started out with a Demi-sec, transitioned to Green, had some Sex and finished with the sweetness of Detroit.
Tell me what did not look right in the last list? Yes, they indeed have a wine called Sex. Sex is a dry to semi-dry rose. There is a unique story behind this wine. I had to ask Larry when I was at the tasting. “Why Sex?” he replied, “Sex Sells!” Simple enough, right? I wanted to know more because there is always more to be learned. Before Sex this wine was called Dionysus and once a small vineyard in California stumbled upon the use of a wine similar in style named Dionysus he sent a notice that their vineyard had patented the name. Larry then came up with Sex thinking there would be no way it would be passed. To his surprise it did and was approved! It’s not just a play on words but his wait staff at the tasting room thought it would get a kick out of folks if they asked their customers if they would like to try sex. The name stuck and to this day is the most popular wine from the M. Lawrence side.
At the tasting they were almost out of Grace, which is a sparkling pinot noir rose. After being talked about so highly people were buying cases of this wine, this made it hard for those to really enjoy the wine from the tasting standpoint but just a dash to purchase tons of delicious wine without trying it. Personally, you should always try the wine before buying a bottle. Grace is by far my top pick of the L. Mawby side. It really packs a nice round flavor when you drink it and even sweet wine drinkers can enjoy this sparkling rose. Unfortunately, I had to settle for the Blanc de Blanc and Tradition, which are two excellent sparklers, aged using the in bottle fermentation or French champagne style. These two are crowd pleasers and will make a perfect addition to your holiday party, New Year's celebration or any special occasion.
Sandpiper is a L. Mawby exclusive, which is a great semi-sweet in-between from Green and Detroit. You can only purchase the wine at the vineyard. A very smooth wine enjoyed by everyone.
When my wife and I were looking at wedding venues we sought out the Leelanau Peninsula and fell in love with the area. Stay tuned for more featured articles on Michigan vineyards and wineries.
You can visit their website at www.lmawby.com.