The fruit is sourced for White Pine wines from vineyards in Van Buren and Berrien counties, both located in southwest Michigan. From Sophie’s Vineyard south of Lawton to 3 or 4 of the best regional growers, Dave has developed relationships to obtain the best possible fruit from the best sites. Vineyard sites are chosen for 1) their proximity to Lake Michigan; 2) elevation – for air and water drainage; 3) soil – well drained, sandy or gravelly soils are best and to a lesser extent; 4) slope and aspect or, steepness of the hill and the direction it faces.
Sophie’s Vineyard is located southeast of Lawton on the Millers farm adjacent to White Pine Winery. This vineyard, named after their daughter, Sophie Elise, produces Riesling from the Geisenheim clones 110, 198 and 239. A small planting of Cabernet franc contributes to Serenditipity. Finally there is a small planting of Regent, a German hybrid that is naturally disease resistant and produces a dark red wine used for blending.
Herman Farms near Coloma is the source of Pinot grigio, Merlot and Cabernet sauvignon. The rolling hills and sandy soils within five miles of Lake Michigan provide the best conditions in all of Southwest Michigan for a wide variety of grapes. Joe Herman is a fifth generation grower who takes great pride in the quality of his fruit and the wine it produces. The Herman’s grow a variety of fruit crops but wine grapes are a specialty.
Arrowhead Vineyards near Baroda is a source for Riesling and some resistant hybrids used in proprietary blends like White Expression. Vidal blanc is a specialty of this operation. The Vidal blanc is the fruit used in Ice Wine.
Oxley Farms near Lawton is the source of resistant hybrids Foch, DeChaunac and Chancellor used in Red Expression and Dune Shadow Red. Once again rolling hills and sandy soils make this a perfect place to grow grapes. The early settlers realized this and began planting native American grapes like Concord here over 100 years ago. This is the home of Welch’s Michigan plant where the wonderful juices and jellies are produced.