Chateau Chantal, on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City, is picking up on a rich tradition whose roots are in Spain: pairing small plates of food, called tapas, with glasses of wine. Chateau Chantal's Tapas Tour puts a delicious and gorgeous spin on the tradition but placing the tapas throughout the vineyard, rolling cuisine, wine-tasting and vineyard education into one single experience.
Tours are held Saturdays and led by experienced guides who walk attendees through the winemaking process from vine to wine, and lead them through an exploration of the fascinations of wine and food pairing. More in-depth than the standard winery tour, the Tapas Tour allows the guest to gain vineyard, winemaking, and wine tasting knowledge that they can use to help make wise wine purchasing decisions in the future.
The idea for the Tapas Tour came out of Chateau Chantal's winemaker's travels to their Argentine vineyard a few times each year to oversee the vineyard and make their Malbec wine. The Spanish-influenced cuisine included an introduction to tapas and the tour seemed a natural extension of Chateau Chantal's interest in connecting food and wine.
The tapas menu includes nine pairings of small plates with Chantal wines ranging from a whitefish paté with Semi-Dry Riesling, to a bbq chicken pizza paired with their Argentine Malbec.
Tapas Tours started in June and run through September. Tours begin at 12:30 and last two hours. The size of the groups is kept to 25 so that the event has a personal experience so you'll need reservations at least one day in advance. The cost is $25 per person. Chateau Chantal also suggests a light jacket to wear when the tour heads to the cool wine cellar.
Contact Chateau Chantal through their website, www.chateauchantal.com, or by calling 231.223.4110.