Elin McCoy on "Locopour" in Northern Michigan

Traverse City Art & Wine Festival 2010I got a chance to meet Bloomberg’s wine writer Elin McCoy at the 2010 Traverse City Wine & Art Festival in late August. Today she published her assessment of our wines that you should check out! She writes:

Drinking local in most parts of America (read: outside California, Oregon, and Washington State), though, used to be very tough. Not so long ago there weren’t that many wineries in states like Texas or Colorado or Michigan and quality was hit or miss. I still recall my reaction to a tasting of 100 Michigan wines here 20 years ago — I was only willing to swallow three.

But wine is now produced in all 50 states, even Alaska, and ten have more than 100 wineries, inspiring website drinklocalwine.com. A lot of their wines are pretty good and, as with the best bottles in Michigan, many cost under $25. Reasons, in my book, to become a locapour.

If you want to sample the local pours, check out the Harvest Stompede Wine Tour this weekend (Sept 18 & 19). Left Foot Charley owner-winemaker Bryan Ulbrich discussed the challenges of winemaking here:

“We can make world-class examples of these whites,” he says, citing the sandy soil and the “lake effect” that moderates the harsh winters. Yet 2009 was a challenge, with heaps of snow and temperatures of minus 15 Fahrenheit (minus 26 Celsius). “We’re like old school Europe,” he admits, “you taste real differences in vintages here.”

While Brian is more a fan of our whites, Elin writes:

I’m pleasantly surprised by the reds. A fragrant, berry- flavored 2005 Gill’s Pier Cabernet Franc/Merlot shows the region’s potential. Several cabernet francs remind me of Loire valley Chinons, especially the softly attractive 2008 Arcturos, Black Star Farms’ top label ($27.50). Shady Lane’s berry and plum-flavored 2008 “Blue Franc” ($23), a proprietary name for lemberger, has notes of cedar and a silky texture.

Photo Credit: Traverse City Art & Wine Festival 2010 by catrina90

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