White Pine Winery

Southwest Michigan Winery and tasting room

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail commissioned this video from Wine + Words for our new campaign to tell the story of our World Class wine region.

 

Lake Michigan Shore World - Class Wines

The saying, “Wine is made in the vineyard”, is true. Grapevines produce grapes that are turned into wine. But there are so many factors determining whether the wine is average or excellent. Our wines are made in the vineyard with great attention to the smallest details.Regent280522

Vineyard ecosystem

Wine is an expression of the vines interacting with their environment. The weather in each vintage determines the quality of the vintage, the soil, slope, aspect and place on the planet determine the general conditions of an appellation and the wines.

We respect the land.  We do not use synthetic fertilizer on our vineyards. We do use natural cover crops in row middles as they are in balance with the area’s microbes, insects and plants.  Our vineyard management system uses best practices to produce the best, most flavorful and balanced fruit. We use sustainable practices to minimize the impact of the of our farming operation on the environment. By using cover crops and no synthetic fertilizer, vine growth is reduced. Leaves are smaller, shoots are less vigorous, and clusters of grapes are exposed to sunshine. This reduces disease on the grapes and allows them to ripen fully producing the balanced, flavorful wines.

Vineyard Site

Our vineyard site was chosen for it’s location near Lake Michigan. Great vineyard sites in cool climate regions like Michigan share certain characteristics: High relative elevation; gentle slope, southern aspect, well drained soils and proximity to a large body of water to moderated temperatures.  Our vineyard site was chosen for all of the above factors enabling it to produce premium wine grapes.

The Grapevines

Once the site was selected the choice of plant material, vine x row spacing and trellis type form the foundation for the vineyard that will produce wine for decades to come. We carefully studied the above factors and chose the best combination of Variety, rootstock, vine x row spacing and trellising system to produce the best wines possible. Our attention to detail has paid off with wines like our Sophie’s Vineyard Cabernet franc and Reserve Riesling.  

There is great attention to detail during the growing season to balance the vine crop load and open the vine canopy, techniques used in the world’s greatest vineyards to produce the world’s best wines.  It is labor intensive but the effort shows in every bottle we produce.

Growers

Our vineyard only produces a little over half of the fruit required to produce our award-winning wines. We only purchase fruit from growers who hold the same principles as we do at White Pine.  That means we pay more for grapes because they receive all the care and attention to make great wines.

Wine Making

Simple is better. Ripe grapes make great wine. Basic principles of clean, sound winemaking bring out the best from our grapes, producing wines full of flavor, aroma, are well balanced and are great with food.

Our goal is to produce the very best possible wines from Southwest Michigan and the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation. That means we use expensive grapes and some expensive, time consuming processing techniques but they give the best results. While our wines cost more, we feel they offer great value given their overall quality and consistency.

Some of our wines are fermented and / or aged in oak barrels. Our research shows that French oak barrels produce the most subtle flavors to enhance our wines. They compliment the fruit without dominating flavor or aroma.  French oak barrels cost twice what American oak barrels cost but we feel they are the only kind of barrel to use to produce the best wines.

Philosophy:

Our overall philosophy is to use the best grape growing and wine making practices to make the best wines from the region. Our portfolio of wines is relatively small as we want to focus on those grape varieties that perform best in our climate and soils.  Part of exploring the region’s potential means trying new things when the opportunity arises. This brought us Teroldego Reserve and soon, Pinot noir Reserve.

We are just beginning to see the impact of various soils in our region on the grapes and resulting wine. A great example is our Sophie’s Vineyard Cabernet franc. It grows in our heavier, clay loam soil and produces a wine perfumed with fruit aroma and bursting with fruit on the palate. The great wines of the Right Bank in Bordeaux are famous for growing on heavier soils. Our Riesling Reserve grown on our clay loam soil brings another example of the perfume and broad palate of flavors produced on our farm.

We are excited to continue exploring variety and soil interactions and impact on wines. Watch as we continue to produce wines from unique vineyard sites.

We hope you enjoy exploring our wines as much as we enjoy making them!

Dave Miller PhD

Owner / Winemaker

5 August, 2022

May 27, 2021

Dave Miller

Summer is here and we love it!  Summer 2021 looks fantastic! We love where we live and we love sharing it, especially what comes from our land – wine. May051521

In the vineyard, the vines escaped damage from frost the mornings of May 10th through the 12th. Shoots are growing and the flower clusters will soon bloom and set the 2021 vintage. I love working with the vineyard, especially in a year like 2021 when there is great crop potential and, the possibility for a great vintage (great vintages occur during dry years).  The vineyard crew is removing suckers from vine trunks and extra “frost canes” we left just in case.

Our new Chambourcin vines will produce their first crop this year along with Marquette. Those grapes will make Dune Shadow Red, Lady Slipper Rose’ and Mirage. Traminette is a year behind and will bear fruit in ’22. Sadly, our Chardonnay vines were killed by a hard freeze during spring 2020. As much as we want Chardonnay on our land, we are very aware when Mother Nature sends a signal that a variety is not well suited to a site. That was the message we got last year so we replanted the Chardonnay block with more Riesling and Cabernet franc vines. We included some new Cab franc clones and are excited to try the wine in a couple of years.

As a Boutique Winery our production is small and most of our sales are through our tasting room and Wine Club. However, we our wines can be found in several stores regionally when it isn't convenient to stop by the winery. Below is a list of stores who carry our wines:

St Joe, MI: Liquor Cabinet, Liquor Locker

Sawyer, MI: Sawyer Garden Center

Bridgman, MI: Hardings

Richland, MI: Hardings

Grand Rapids, MI: Total Wine and More

 

Our wines are also served at the following restaurants:

Silver Beach Pizza

Clementine's Too

Bistro on the Boulevard

Houndstooth

 

We have four new-release wines for you to enjoy:New Release Reds 032021

Our reserve reds are sourced from low yielding vineyards to produce wines loaded with flavor and character. All of the wines are aged for a minimum of 12 months in French Oak barrels. This time honored tradition produces the finest quality wines.

2018 Reserve Merlot: Ruby red. Loaded with dark cherry and berry notes, silky smooth tannins and hint of allspice on the finish. Offered at $5 discount - $23.99

2018 Reserve Serendipity: Deep Ruby with raspberry and blueberry aromas and a hint of mocha. Our classic Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon and Cabernet franc. Firm tannins in the mid palate show off the Cab sauvignon. Always a customer favorite. $28.99

2019 Reserve Borealis. A blend of Teroldego and Marquette. Deep ruby with a hint of violet show the wines youth. Teroldego brings and earthy component of truffle that's complimented with dark cherry from Marquette. Very much in its youth but promises to develop beautifully. $28.99

2019 Pinot grigio Leelanau Peninsula. Bright and crisp with melon, pear, apple and a hint of lime zest. A spring favorite! $18.99

LETS HAVE A PARTY

Wine tastes better with friends. Schedule a group tasting.