You'll miss this winery if you are not careful. There are 3 other wineries very close to Chateau Fontaine and you can easily get confused on which drive you take. Located at 2290 S. French Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653 you'll arrive at this wood cabin tasting room. The vineyard is on site along with cherry trees for their fruit wines. This is a hidden gem of the Leelanau Peninsula.
This is definitely the winery to visit on a guided wine tour or if you find yourself in the Leelanau Peninsula area. Many of these start in Traverse City and follow a set route and arriving at the winery you'll feel like you are in an entirely different world. Tastings consist of 5 pours. They have a limited selection of wine, but some unique ones you may not see at other wineries near by.
Why don't we see what types of wine they have?
Pinot Noir: This fragrant red wine has a garnet hue and aromas of leather, cherry, and clove. Their vineyards are planted with several different clones of Pinot Noir, and the resulting wine is aged 10 months in French Oak to produce a wine with spice notes and flavor of black cherry and currant. Pair with braised meats, including rack of lamb or hearty salmon.
Woodland Red: The Woodland Red is a delectable red blend with the smooth taste of lush raspberry, blackberry, and black pepper accented with soft tannins. Made from a blend of Syrah, Merlot, and 40% each Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is the perfect steak pairing wine. Multi-gold award winner.
Big Paw Red: This hearty blend of reds utilizes three hybrid grapes to yield an easy-drinking table wine that is not too dry, but not too sweet. It is perfectly paired with spaghetti, pizza, and BBQ.
Chardonnay: A fruit-forward Chardonnay with luscious flavors of light citrus, ripe figs and spice. A rich, almost creamy texture accented by a light touch of grapefruit and crisp finish.
Pinot Gris: Crisp, clean flavors of apples and spice with hints of oak and vanilla, fragrance of wildflowers and freshly mowed hay, all rounded into a dry finish. Classic with local fish such as whitefish, light dishes and chicken.
Woodland White: Made with the obscure varietal Auxerrois, this wine starts with crisp apple on the palate, midway, Honeydew melon, and finishes of white peach. Pairs with seafood, shellfish or sushi.
Pinot Blanc: Michigan Wine Competition Best of Class for a dry white in 2012 and 2013. Crisp lemongrass and tropical flavors, with notes of banana, pineapple, and grapefruit.
Dry White Riesling: Delicious Riesling characteristics of pear and peach in a fully dry, traken style wine with a crisp bracing finish. These grapes are picked three weeks earlier than the Semi-Sweet Riesling. The Dry White Riesling from Chateau Fontaine recieved the John Rose Award for best Riesling in 2012 at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition; this award is given to the Riesling wine considered best in the world.
Gewurztraminer: A spicy, floral grape, this wine is a great pairing to your Thanksgiving dinner and works well with Pad Thai and Curry. Starts with a lovely rose petal nose, opening to apple, pear, peach and apricot on the palate, with spice notes of pepper, clove and black licorice.
Semi-Sweet White Riesling: Mother nature sweetens the grapes with an additional 3 weeks on the vine from when the dry Riesling grapes are picked. This wine is full and racy with apricots and peaches on the palate, flowery with haunting mineral in the background, delicate sweetness balanced with firm acidity creating a harmonious experience for the senses. The Semi-Sweet White Riesling won the John Rose Award at the International Finger Lakes Wine Competition in 2013 for Best Riesling.
Laughing Waters Dry Rosé: Ahh…Just imagine yourselves…A hot summer day, a few friends, and a picnic. Out for a cruise in a vintage wooden boat, cutting through the waves, making the water laugh! Enhance the experience with a bottle of this dry Rosé made with Pinot Noir grapes. Delightful notes of crisp strawberry, raspberry and cherry. Serve chilled, and enjoy!
Cherry Wine: Made from a blend of local tart and sweet cherries, they offer a truly rich, dark cherry wine that tantalize the senses with its natural cherry flavor. Hailed by many of their customers as their “favorite cherry wine” in Northern Michigan, it pairs perfectly with dark chocolate.
Cherryshine: Cherryshine is a port-style fortified cherry wine that makes a delicious after dinner liquor. Made using only fresh local cherries.
Viognier: An ancient grape varietal, Viognier was nearly extinct in 1965 when its production had dwindled to only 8 acres in Northern Rhone. Today it has garnered increased popularity around the world, producing a wine with a strong floral nose, and nice crisp fruit on the palate. Notes of peach, pear, and apple.
Grüner Veltliner: This wine is a relatively new varietal to Northern Michigan, which is primarily grown in Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. This varietal produces a food friendly wine with citrus and peach characteristics, as well as occasional spicy notes. One of the few wines that pairs with Asparagus. Very limited current production.
(Wine descriptions brought to you by Chateau Fontaine's website).
The wine from Chateau Fontaine cannot be found in stores, but you can order it from the winery directly. They will not ship out-of-state, however, the best way to get their wine is to visit the winery and indulge in the beauty of the great state of Michigan.
My wife and I stumbled upon this winery 2 years ago and are planning to go back on our next trip up north!