April Wine Club

Apr 21, 2023

For this months’ wine club, we’ve decided to stay right here in Michigan. We are so excited to showcase thoughtfully made wine and beautiful expressions of our very own terroir. The history of winemaking in Michigan is not short, vineyards in Michigan were first planted and cultivated by European Settlers in the 19th century. Like many other places across the US, the momentum of the industry was smothered by prohibition from 1920 to 1933. When Prohibition was repealed slowly the wine industry in Michigan started to revive. Primarily small-scale wineries started making wine with locally grown fruit like cherries and apples, this was more for the local market and did not gain attention nationally. It wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that Michigan wine industry stated focusing on traditional grape-based wines. Since then, Michigan’s wine industry has come a long way and has established itself as a thriving region for cool-climate wines. With a focus on quality, sustainability, and innovation, Michigan winemakers are producing a diverse range of wines that showcase the unique terroir of the region. We have been exploring the Michigan wine industry since we moved here in 2010. Over the last decade we have been so impressed with the strides the industry has made in education and the production of more serious and thoughtful wines. There are many notable leaders in the industry here that led the way. Too many to discuss in our monthly wine club, but we can’t fail to mention, Jim Lester of Wyncroft and Marland Wines, Bryan Ulbrich of Left Foot Charley, Larry Mawby, and the history of the oldest still-running winery in Michigan, St. Julian which was established in 1921 and Tabor Hill Winery, founded in 1968.

We also are compelled to share the stories love and relationships that make these wineries so special. From spouses that decided to plant their roots in Michigan, it’s an honor to be featuring stories and wines from producers with similar mindsets. That’s some Pure Michigan right there. 


P. & E. Mullins

2021 BOS Méthode Agricole

Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan

BOS Wines is founded by husband-and-wife team Dave & Jackie Bos. Their first vintage release was in 2010. The couple met in Napa. Dave originally from Michigan, was working at Grigich Hills, one of California’s most noteworthy wineries as their biodynamic vineyard manager. Jackie a California native, worked as the senior project manager at a landscape architecture firm. With their connections in the wine industry both in California and Michigan and their skills and passion for farming they acquired in their respective careers; they created a vineyard consulting company. As they spent more time in Michigan, they witnessed a burgeoning industry on the cusp, and decided to move their roots to the Traverse City area. To raise a glass to the Michigan wine industry we are sharing their Méthode Agricole, pet-nat style sparkling wine made of Valvin Muscat a hybrid varietal of Muscat. In the glass this a hazy straw yellow. We picked up aromas of shea butter and a hint of coconut or vanilla. On the palate your mouth is rushed with tiny tight small bubbles and supple notes of lemon peel, peach, and marzipan. It has a clean bright finish. Clocking in at just 12% alcohol this is a great sparkler for kicking off.

2021 Stranger Wine Company Riesling

Lake Michigan Shore, Michigan

Located in our very own backyard of Buchanan is Stranger Wine Company. Founded by husband-and-wife team Maxx Eicherg and Sidney Finan in early 2021 we are already enjoying the fruits of their labor with their first vintage release in Spring 2022. Maxx and Sidney met in college. After graduation Maxx hopped into the wine industry feet first, working a crush in Walla Walla, Washington. He continued expanding his knowledge for the industry by working for an importer and distributor in Chicago, where he began pursuing his Master of Wine Studies. Sidney first got her hands in the dirt working for an organic family owned farm in Illinois. With this experience and her degrees in Biology and Environmental Science, she realized she was meant for a future in sustainable and regenerative farming. In 2019 Maxx and Sidney packed up their lives in a van and moved to Willamette Valley where they worked a harvest and affirmed their dream of a life in agriculture and wine. We’re sharing their Avonlea Estate Riesling. In the glass it is a pink amber-y hue like rose gold. The nose is reminiscent of stewed apples, cherry pits, and the scent of driving down a dusty farm road on a hot dry late summers’ day. This dry Riesling is velvety on the palate with nice acid that carries through the notes of tangerine peel, almonds, and there is a touch of salinity on the lengthy finish. Forget any preconceived notions you might have of Riesling, this is not trying to be Alsatian or German, this is a wine of its place.

2021 Modales El Suelo

Lake Michigan Shore, Michigan

Modales Wines in Fennville was founded in 2014 by husband-and-wife Jim and Carol Gonzales who’s love, and appreciation of wine grew with them. In Illinois they were involved in commercial crop farming. After moving to Michigan, they decided to change direction and get involved in something they were passionate and excited about it, you guessed it, wine. They brought on Todd Robbins horticulturist as general manager and interim vineyard manager to help get them started in the right direction and hired Andrew Backlin as winemaker. Andrew came to Michigan via the Napa Valley, you could say wine was in the water he drank, and in the air he breathed. It wasn’t what he first sought after as a career but after touring full time in a metal band, he paused to bulk up his bank account and took a job as a lab tech in a winery, that’s when he fell in love with creating wine. At Modales they focus on minimal intervention winemaking, letting the vineyard and place decipher the style verse trying to make it be something else. The El Suelo is a blend with Blaufränkisch, Pinot Noir and Chambourcin. In the glass it is a cloudy blackberry tone. Punch you in the nose aromatics with violet, crushed blue berry fruit and a chalky dusty graphite. Right up front there are bright fruit notes on the light medium bodied palate. There’s a mysterious spicy yet delicate quality that comes though on the mouthwatering long finish.