Thursday, August 13, 2009

On the Road Again?

So this weekend we’re going to take a little wine tour of our own, we’re going to hit some of the SW Michigan wineries to see what they are up to. This is an exciting time in the wine biz, we are about a month out of harvest and the forecast is good here in Indiana and in Michigan.

We talked about trying some mainstream grapes as a trial this year and we are going to move ahead with that, focusing on red wines and rhine-style wines. I feel our weakest line has been our dry reds, we’ve had some good ones, but there are not a lot of red grapes that make great dry red wines that grow well in the Midwest. So we are going to take a shot with some Shiraz, cabernet franc, and pinot noir. Small batches, so we will keep those interested up-to-date on “when” they can try them and even buy them if they like’em.

I have been toying with a new batch of Foch I think might do well as a dry red wine, but my intent was to release it as a semi-sweet. Our last batch of SWAYZEE was made with Chancellor grapes, but the batch before that was Foch. Both grapes have a nice flavor with a bit of sweetness. I was very happy with the Chancellor, but it was a test batch (120 gallons) I tried at the urging of a supplier. I had a few folks disappointed that the Swayzee was not a Foch, but many liked the Chancellor version as well or better.

We tend to be flexible with the grape we use for an established label, but we keep that wine in the same style as prior versions. There are a few exceptions due to popularity, like FAIRMOUNT, BUNKER HILL, KOKOMO CIDER, and JALAPA. We have so many people who walk in and ask for these wines by name, we hesitate to monkey with them much, although we always suggest a tasting.

So a future blog will talk about what we learned on our swing through SW Michigan’s wine country, we expect good things!

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