Chateau Grand Traverse is an amazing winery in Northwest Michigan located on the Mission Peninsula overlooking West Suttons Bay. Known for their Riesling and home of the annual Cherry Festival "Cherry Wine." Each summer around the 4th of July the Cherry Festival is a staple in Traverse City and draws people from all over the world. When they release the Cherry Festival "Cherry Wine" look out for "Mark's Top Wine Pick of the Week."
The winery is located at 12239 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686. In addition to the winery they have an inn with themed rooms. My wife and I took a look at the inn while looking at places to stay for our wedding venue trip. Unfortunately, the inn was completely booked for the days we would be in the area. We hope to stay there on our next trip to Traverse City.
Let's get into the wonderful world-class wine from Chateau Grand Traverse. Their selection is bound to please every type of wine drinker.
Red & Rosé Wine:
2013 Pinot Noir Reserve: This dry red wine has a spirited sort of elegance. It comes alive with delicate cherry and strawberry nuances, mingled with subtle chocolate flavors. Aged for 26 months in small oak barrels, this wine offers refined oak complexity, light tannins, and a lasting finish. The complex character of this wine pairs well with savory dishes, red meats, grilled salmon, or wild game.
2013 Silhouette Reserve: An off-dry style, premium red wine blend of Cabernet Franc, Gamay Noir, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Dornfelder. It is fruity and rich in body with subtle mellowing from aging for 22 months in new and seasoned French and American oak barrels. Serve with red meats, pasta, or any grilled fare.
2013 Merlot Reserve: Think berries, black pepper, chocolate, espresso, firm acidity and big tannins. Aged for 26 months in small oak barrels, this full-bodied, dry red wine comes together with captivating flavors and abundant fruit.
2013 Cabernet Franc Reserve: This beautifully structured red wine exhibits fragrant aromas of berry, black pepper, dark chocolate, and hints of coffee. The palate comes to life with firm tannins, earthy minerals, and strong oak references from 26-months aging in small oak barrels. The complex character of this wine pairs well with savory dishes, red meats, hearty pasta, or strong cheese.
2013 Gamay Noir Reserve: A lighter-bodied, aromatic, fruity red wine with distinct tart cherry, red plum and black pepper flavors abound. With 36 months of barrel aging, it is lighter than traditional red wines making a versatile wine for cheese and breads, grilled salmon, roasted duckling or wild mushroom pizza. (2013 was a good year for wine).
2014 Etcetera Red: This handcrafted red blend reveals mouth quenching acidity, robust berry flavors, and subtle oaky earthiness. pair with a juicy burger, grilled salmon, spicy Paella, or your favorite charcuterie.
2016 Etcetera Rosé: This handcrafted rosé reveals mouth quenching acidity, robust berry flavors, and subtle oaky earthiness. Made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, this balanced wine is made for summertime sipping on the patio. Pair with a juicy burger, grilled salmon, spicy Paella, or your favorite charcuterie. (Summertime calls for an amazing pink and this blend will make you coming back for more. It is probably a good idea to get 2 or more bottles of this rosé).
2016 Pinot Noir Rosé: It may seem “pretty in pink,” but this is a seriously polished wine made from gently pressed Pinot Noir grapes. With just a touch of sweetness, this medium-bodied Vin Gris exudes bright tart cherry aroma, crisp melon, and light vanilla with a lasting finish. Perfectly matched for those hard to pair foods, this wine will most certainly command a room. (You'll be seeing more and more of these rosés as the summers become hotter and more dry).
2016 Pinot Noir: This wine comes alive with flavors of cherry, raspberry and chocolate with medium body, firm tannins and a fruity finish. The delicate complexity of this wine matches
well with grilled salmon, roast duckling, wild game, or even dark chocolate after dinner.
2016 Gamay Noir: Has adapted well to the climate of Northern Michigan producing a lighter-bodied, aromatic, fruity red wine with distinct tart cherry, red plum and black pepper flavors. With four months of barrel aging, it is lighter than traditional red wines making a versatile wine for cheese and breads, grilled salmon, roasted duckling or wild mushroom pizza. (Probably one of my favorite grape varietals).
Woods Sweet Red: Cheers to the road not yet traveled, trees that could tell our history, and the promise of an unforgettable view around the bend. This sweet red wine pairs perfectly with your favorite trail mix, hunter sausage with sharp cheddar cheese, and a trail map to plan for tomorrow. (CGT)
Select Sweet Traverse Red: This sweet-style red wine is made from a selected blend of 100% vinifera red wine grapes. It displays a sweet fruity flavor with rich red wine undertones. Serve slightly chilled.
2016 Pinot Grigio: Bright acidity and beautiful mineral qualities with wonderful fruit. Its floral-citrus flavors and herbaceous style will make this a very food-friendly wine, perfect for summertime. The natural acidity in this crisp Pinot Grigio will accentuate simple and delicate flavors in food, especially fish entrées. Pair with savory dishes such as seared scallops, pesto chicken, or stir fry.
2013 Gewürztraminer: Robust and spicy with a pronounced aromatic style. Exhibiting floral, ginger, citrus and earthy nuances. This wine pairs wonderfully with assertive cuisine such as Thai or Indian dishes.
2016 Etcetera White: Notes of honeycomb, ripe green apple, and citrus fill the palate with striking minerality and a hint of spice on the finish. Enjoy this exquisitely structured white wine with most savory dishes such as margarita pizza, decadent mac and cheese, and grilled sausage and peppers.
2016 Ship of Fools: "A ship’s journey will cease if its myriad of characters fail to meld as a crew." In a similar fashion, they created this unconventional blend that reveals an altogether new phizog. It exhibits bright fruit flavor, pleasing mineral qualities with nuances of aromatic green tea. With a dry, lingering finish and soft acidity, it is the perfect skipper to sail into uncharted waters. (CGT)
2016 Grü Vin: Equal parts “crispy-wow” with “zesty-ooh,” this captivating cool climate creation can saunter into any room and grab attention. Their small block vineyard provides intense late-season ripening, creating a laid-back wine with a clean finish. This show-stopping wine offers marvelous citrus qualities, juicy minerality, and hints of white pepper. Sit back, enjoy a chilled glass and be your far-out self. (CGT) (Can you dig it?)
Select Pinot Grigio: A slightly sweeter wine offering ripe fruit flavors, citrus-herb qualities, and crisp acidity. This versatile wine pairs beautifully with spicy dishes.
Waters Sweet White: Cheers to full sails, fish tales, wet paddles and rafting up with friends on the lake. This sweet white wine pairs nicely with planked salmon, fresh cherries, watermelon, and those freshwater memories that can only be made in Michigan. (CGT)
Picnic Semi-dry White: Cheers to toes in the sand at sunset, gentle breezes scented by campfire, and spontaneous outdooor dining. This semi-dry white wine pairs perfectly with a gingham table cloth, wicker basket, warming bonfire, and s’mores after sunset with your favorite people. (CGT)
2016 Late Harvest Riesling: Abounds with dazzling fruit and crisp citrus flavors balanced with a naturally sweet finish. They created this exquisite after-dinner wine to match well with cheese and fruit as well as roast pork, glazed ham, poultry, or most barbecued fare.
2014 Semi-dry Riesling: This versatile wine displays flavors of ripe pear and honey crisp, accented by scents of Meyer lemon and acacia honey complimented by very refreshing acidity. Most entrées will surely be complemented by this versatile wine. Flavors of citrus and fresh fruit abound, balanced with crisp acidity and a lasting finish. From the basic stir fry, barbecue, or even Indian chutney, the fruit undertones will enhance a broad range of the most unique meals. Serve slightly chilled.
2016 Dry Riesling: This expressive dry white wine is crisp, fruity and fresh. Intricate flavors of apple, pear and citrus are matched with a vibrant steely-dry finish. Its assertive and clean style is an ideal match for most seafood, shellfish, or delicate cream sauce entrées
2016 Whole Cluster Riesling: Crisp aromatics, bright tropical fruit and lemony citrus are accented with luscious flavors of ripe apple and pear. Produced from top quality, hand-picked Riesling grapes, whole clusters were pressed without any de-stemming or crushing. The resulting wine is sleek and steely with just a hint of natural sweetness for balance. With talent on loan from the vineyard, this wine is a Riesling rock star.
2016 Block Twelve: Block 12 is their prized little vineyard recognized for producing outstanding quality grapes. Hand-picked with loads of flavor, they cool fermented and steady aged in stainless steel allowing this wine to show off juicy fruit-forward aromatics, pronounced citrus and a robust mouthfeel. Made in the style they see fit, this hand-crafted, small production wine exemplifies their 43-year commitment to making extraordinary Riesling.
Select Semi-dry Riesling: This is a popular semi-dry white wine made in a refreshing style with crisp character. Serve with cheese and fruit, grilled poultry, fresh seafood, or any barbecued fare.
Select Sweet Harvest Riesling: This sweeter-style white wine displays flavors of apricot, melon and honey with a sweet finish. Serve with roast pork, grilled poultry, glazed ham, pasta salad or barbecued fare.
Cherry Wine Sangria: This is a sweet wine made from Cherry Wine blended with natural lemon, lime, pineapple, banana and orange flavors. Cherry Wine Sangria is a perfect pairing for holiday meals, with flavors that burst when warmed.
Spiced Cherry Wine: This wine is a holiday tradition made from a blend of Cherry Wine with natural flavors of cinnamon, clove, orange, and lemon peel. Enjoy as a warm-up beverage during the cooler months.
Cherry Riesling Wine: This unique and flavorful wine was made from Semi-dry Riesling Wine and Northern Michigan Cherry Wine. Simply put, this enchanting semi-dry wine displays crisp, fruity style with a delicate hint of cherry. We recommend serving this versatile wine slightly chilled as an accompaniment to picnic or barbecued fare, as well as cheese and fruit. This is a sweeter-style blush wine with crisp Riesling flavors.
Cherry Wine: This all-natural Cherry Wine is made in a sweeter style and is produced from a variety of tart cherries grown in nearby orchards. They cool fermented this wine in stainless steel tanks to capture the delicate fruit qualities, ripe cherry flavors, and beautiful color. Enjoy with barbecued foods, picnic fare or cheese and fruit. Serve slightly chilled for best flavor.
Cherry Reserve Port: This rich and robust port-style wine reveals fragrant cherry aromas and wonderful complexity. Made from pure Northern Michigan cherries and aged for a minimum of 48 months in small oak barrels, this wine is then fortified with cherry brandy to add sweetness and complexity. The resulting wine offers big cherry pie character with a deliciously sweet, mouth-filling finish. Enjoy after dinner with dark chocolate, aged cheeses, or your favorite dessert. Serve at room temperature.
MichMash White: White Blend. This wine can only be shipped in Michigan. MichMash wines are uniquely flavor-driven and not focused on the individual varietal, but on producing intricately beautiful blends.
MichMash Riesling: Riesling Blend. This wine can only be shipped in Michigan. MichMash wines are uniquely flavor-driven and not focused on the individual varietal, but on producing intricately beautiful blends.
MichMash Red: Red Blend. This wine can only be shipped in Michigan. MichMash wines are uniquely flavor-driven and not focused on the individual varietal, but on producing intricately beautiful blends.
(All wine descriptions are from the Chateau Grand Traverse website. Anything in a parentheses will be my own accounts of the wine from when I tasted them).
If you are curious about the winemaking process and would like to see the vineyard, you can take a complementary tour when you arrive to the tasting room. It is usually a good idea to set the tour up ahead of time and make sure to arrive 10 minutes early for your appointment. Tours will last around 30 minutes. If you have time, it is a real treat to see.
You can find Chateau Grand Traverse wine at your local wine shop or grocery store. They may not carry all of the wines listed above, but be sure to ask the person in charge of ordering wine at the store if they would order it for you. This works every time when you have a good rapport with the person in charge of ordering the wine. If you want to order, you can go on the winery's website to order as many bottles as you desire or can afford. Prices may vary but they are usually quite reasonable.
Until Friday, I need to restock the supply!