White Pine Winery is a great find located at 317 State St, St Joseph, MI 49085. In the heart of downtown Saint Joseph this winery has a tasting room with a great ambiance and plenty of wine to select from.
Saint Joseph has been a frequent family spot for years. Silver Beach, the massive dunes, lighthouse, beautiful sunsets on Lake Michigan and a vibrant downtown scene. On our mini-honeymoon we decided to stop in and visit while on our way to Lazy Ballerina Winery a couple doors down. I've heard of this winery before but never knew exactly where it was. After getting out of the car Bogey took me too close to the curb and I ended up tripping over the planter and landing on my right forearm. It hurt alittle at first but as we were sitting down to taste at the winery I noticed my arm was bleeding pretty bad. Very calmly I asked the host if they had a first-aid kit. Fortunately they had one with all of the bandages and gauss. My wife patched me up and wrapped the bandage tight to ensure security. After the short medical break we finished our wine tasting. Definitely an experience I'll never forget. We ended up buying about 6 bottles from them and left the server a great tip.
The experience went much smoother than expected. The wine at White Pine Winery was absolutely delicious. So why don't we dive into the wine and where it comes from because obviously you can't have a vineyard in the middle of downtown. There are four vineyards and farms that the winery gets their grapes from. Sophie's Vineyard, Herman Farms, Arrowhead Vineyard and Oxley Farms are the sources for White Pine Winery. Sophie's Vineyard grows Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Regent. Herman Farms grows Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Arrowhead Vineyard grows Riesling, White hybrids and Vidal Blanc. Oxley Farms grows Foch, DeChaunac and Chancellor. Now you know where some of the grapes are sourced from; let's check out what wines they offer, tasting notes and if they offer food pairings, I'll include those as well.
Traminette: A white wine cross with Gewurztraminer, Traminette shows off with intense aromas of apricot, orange zest, honeysuckle and rose like its well known parent. The flavors pop with a hint of sweetness that leads to a satisfyingly long finish. Perfect for any occasion, Traminette pairs well with salads, mild cheeses and curries. (One of my favorites from our tasting).
Ice Wine: The classic dessert wine. Intense aromas and flavors of honey, pineapple and apricot dance in an amber liquid more like nectar than wine. Dessert in a glass to savor sip by sip.
Reserve Riesling: White wine, peaches, mango and honeysuckle define this wine. Aromas leap from the glass and are followed by juicy flavors supported by crisp acidity and a hint of minerals. Great with on its own or with spicy foods, Asian and fusion cuisine. (Another delicious find at the winery).
Reserve Merlot: The classic red grape as expressed by our wonderful Southwest Michigan climate. Rich aromas of dark cherries, brambleberries and allspice are followed by a velvety soft, rich palate. Aging in oak barrels for 12 months integrates and softens the wine. Sip it by itself to experience all its subtleties or enjoy with a wide variety of rich sauces and hearty fare. (Very Smooth and packed with flavor. Certain flavors can be brought out depending on what you eat with it).
Reserve Serendipity: A classic blend of the world-famous Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes, Serendipity shows the potential of Southwest Michigan's climate and soil to produce a truly world-class red wine. Brambleberry and dark cherry aromas lead with hints of vanilla, chocolate and cedar. The palate is rich and bursting with dark fruits supported by firm tannins and just enough acidity for balance and has the potential to age. Enjoy with beef, lamb or a special occasion. (This is a fantastic red blend that we decided to drink right away and it was amazingly smooth).
Dry Riesling: Granny Smith apples, peaches and pear aromas and flavors with a hint of lime zest. This drier style of the classic Riesling wine compliments just about any kind of light dishes. (Super dry but super delicious, for me the drier the better).
Pinot Grigio: The crisp acidity of this white supports a palate of honeydew melon and apple, with a hint of lilac blossom. This is the perfect wine for sipping ice-cold on the deck or by the warmth of a fire on a chilly autumn night. Try with seafood, salads or poultry.
White Expression: This white has lovely aromas of peach, melon and honeysuckle. Delicate flavors of apple, pear, and mango are supported by crisp acidity leading to a long, satisfying finish that begs for another sip. White Expression is excellent with traditional cuisine, spicy Asian dishes and fusion food. (Wonderful all around wine a great buy).
Dune Shadow Red: Intense dark cherry, brambleberry and plum aromas are followed by a mosaic of flavors. Hints of chocolate and cedar interplay with the bright cherry and berry flavors supported by soft tannins and acidity. Try with hearty food like roasts, burgers and tomato-based sauces. (Perfect wine for a sophisticated picnic).
Red Expression: The perfect wine for any occasion. Intense aromas of raspberries, dark cherries and plums. Silky smooth highlighting the bright fruit flavors. Pair with everyday foods like pasta, chili or grilled foods. (We bought a bottle of this wine because it is so smooth, it would be the best for a wedding or any special event).
(Thanks to the White Pine Winery's wine guide for descriptions and I added some personal touches to wines I've enjoyed).
In 1999 they established Sophie's Vineyard in Lawton after the owner's daughter. After a four year wait for the vines to produce enough quality grapes for production. They had many successful years and are planning to open a tasting room in 2019 at the vineyard in Lawton. Check out their website and in the meantime the tasting room in Saint Joseph.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to find these wines in the grocery store or local wine shop. Ask the person in charge of ordering wine at your store if they could order it for you. I am looking forward to going back this summer to taste more wine and hang out on the beach.