Leelanau Peninsula Wines get regional recognition

In Vino Veritas from dbusiness:

When Don Coe ran up against a local ordinance limiting the size of wineries in northern Michigan, he didn’t try to fight city hall. Instead, he leased a 76-acre fruit farm on a neighboring peninsula and started planting more Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes. “The demand was there, but we had a supply problem,” says Coe, managing partner of Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, on the Leelanau Peninsula.

Since 1999, when Coe and his partner, Kerm Campbell, first established a stake in northern Michigan, their business has grown exponentially. Consider: last year revenue was $3.5 million, up from $200,000 a decade ago. In addition to producing more than 30 wines and spirits, Black Star Farms has introduced a creamery, a bed-and-breakfast inn, riding stables, a distillery, and dining options.

“It’s not like we opened our doors and people came running in,” says Coe, from one of two cellars he built into a hillside to store and age wines and cheeses. “It wasn’t easy. First, the wines have to be first-rate because you’re going up against France, Spain, Chile, and California. You also need great distribution and plenty of cooperation from Mother Nature.”

Read the entire article at dbusiness.

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