Northern Michigan Wine: Chateau Grand Traverse’s 2008 Lot 49 Riesling won Gold-Best of Class honors at the 2010 Los Angeles International Wine Competition. This is the second major international award for this Old Mission Peninsula grown Riesling following last month’s Best of Class honors at the 2010 London International Wine & Spirits Competition. While award competitions can be fickle, these back to back honors show that Chateau Grand Traverse Riesling (as well as the Old Mission Peninsula appellation as a whole) is performing at the highest international level, and is another reason to be proud of wines that “can only come from one place: here.”
Chateau Grand Traverse is Northern Michigan’s oldest commercial winery specializing in premium vinifera wines, most recognized for their Riesling. The O’Keefe family has been growing and producing wines on Old Mission Peninsula since 1974.
The 2008 Growing Season
The mild winter of 2008 led to very warm early spring conditions. In early May, an extended period of cooler weather set in and persisted through the end of June slowing development. The summer months set in and maintained consistent warm and dry conditions followed up by a cool September. In October, daytime temperatures warmed to well above average combined with cool evenings resulting in exceptional ripening conditions. Overall, the 2008 vintage was an excellent white wine growing year on Old Mission Peninsula with full-flavored fruit balanced with brilliant acidity, crispness and wonderful depth of flavors.
The 2008 Lot 49 Riesling was made with minimal intervention by the winemaker: it was hand-picked, whole-cluster pressed, cool fermented in stainless steel, and left on the fine lees until bottling. No enzymes, nutrients or fining agents were used in hopes of preserving the pure expression of the fruit. If cellared properly, this wine will continue to evolve and age with grace for many years to come.