- August 2013
- Northern Michigan Winemaker: Chateau de Leelanau's Matt Gregory
Northern Michigan Winemaker: Chateau de Leelanau's Matt Gregory
Northern Michigan winemaker and Managing Partner of Chateau de Leelanau Matt Gregory, discusses wine and food pairings and his winemaking process.
Aug 22, 2013 Tim Tebeau
orthern Michigan Food & Wine: Raised among the fruit trees of his family’s orchard enterprise in Sutton’s Bay
, Matt Gregory did a stint studying business at Michigan State before returning home to run the family farm and get into the grape game with his purchase of Chateau de Leelanau in 2009.
We chat with Matt about winging it, growing rare hybrid whites and what to eat with them.
Tell us about your overnight transformation from cherry farmer to winemaker?
When I set foot in the winery four years ago I didn’t even know how to turn the pump and was told my first vintage of riesling tasted like innertubes so it’s been a steep learning curve. The local winemaking community has really helped me, and we’re now making some great wines and winning awards for them.
Your flagship wine is made from bianca? What’s that?
Yes. We inherited about an acre of bianca when we bought the property, and we’re the only ones in the state who bottle it. It’s an obscure hybrid grape from Hungary, and I think it’s the closest thing we have to sauvignon blanc. Really crisp and bright with lots of pear and grapefruit. It is very much a "toes in the sand at the beach," "mowing the lawn on a Saturday" kind of wine.
So what goes with bianca besides sand and lawn mowers?
I spend a lot of time trolling for salmon and like to pair a cold bottle of bianca with Great Lakes salmon that’s been marinated in fresh dill, lime zest, lime juice and olive oil and cooked on the grill.
This article is also featured in the August 2013 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine. Get your copy now!