Throughout centuries, French winemakers developed the concept of terroir by observing the differences in wines from different regions, vineyards, or even different sections of the same vineyard. Terrior is the the set of special characteristics that the geography, climate and geology of a certain place, interacting with plant genetics, express in agricultural product. Here in Northern Michigan, as we all know, the weather can change at any at any given moment – sunny beach-weather one moment, a rain storm the next; blue bird skies one moment, lake effect snow with white-out conditions the next.  These weather conditions, albeit predictably unpredictable, combined with the close proximity to water and rolling terrain all provide ideal conditions for wine growers.  In fact, viticulture - the science, production and study of grapes, is very important to the vintners of Leelanau County. Local vintner Dan Matthies, owner/operator of Chateau Fontaine, was one of the firsts to plant grapes in Leelanau soil. Seeking advice and study from Michigan State University, Stanley Howell, Matthies was able to find his ideal location with the "grape perfect" pH of 6.5 and high elevation.  A lot of study and hard work has gone into producing the local wines we all love, and the wine-world is starting to notice. Now offering 25 wineries, over 680 rolling acres of vineyards, Leelanau offers one of the most diverse red, white, and sparkling wine selections. For a great read on how Leelanau Wines are gaining national respect, visit here. 

New Wine Tasting Event to Benefit Leelanau Food Pantries

The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail launches Sips & Soups, will donate to Leelanau Christian Neighbors

December 11, 2014 – The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail announces the launch of Sips & Soups. Proceeds from this SOUPer wine and soup tasting event is being donated to Leelanau Christian Neighbors in hopes to help restock the local food pantries after its holiday needs are met. “We are happy to help those in need in any way,” shares Lorri Hathaway, director of the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association (LPVA). “We strive to be great community members and hope that our efforts now and in the future will enhance the lives of our neighbors.”
The event, scheduled for two Saturdays in January, showcases Leelanau wine paired with plenty of warm soups. Along with raising funds for food pantries, the event is intended to remind local residents that the cold winter months are a great time to visit the tasting rooms. “We love that our community always joins together to get things done,” says Mary Stanton, president of Leelanau Christian Neighbors. “We do have poverty in our county, even though the beautiful views and large vacation homes make it seem otherwise. We couldn’t be happier that the LPVA has chosen to donate to us, and we’re excited for what will surely be an incredibly fun event!”
The self-guided tour takes place 12:00 to 5:00 pm on Saturday, January 10 and Saturday, January 24. Tickets are $10 per person per Saturday and include a wine glass and featured soup and wine pairing at 20 wineries along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. $3 from each ticket sold is being donated directly to Leelanau Christian Neighbors. For more information and to get tickets, visit .
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The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail is managed by the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association (LPVA), a member-driven, winery association founded in 1998. The mission of the LPVA is to spread the word about all the good things happening along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. The trail is divided into three minitrails for easy touring: the Sleeping Bear Loop, the Northern Loop and the Grand Traverse Bay Loop. The Leelanau Peninsula AVA is home to 25 wineries located within diverse microclimates uniquely suited for a variety of wine grapes. Among the internationally acclaimed varietals are Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. The local wines continue to achieve national and international accolades with each passing vintage.