Text: Kassandra Olschanski // Photography: Traverse Wine Coast, Traverse City Tourism, Kelsey Knight
Traverse City, Michigan is known for its vibrant downtown retail and dining scene, regional golf courses, sweeping shorelines, freshwater beaches and sand dunes, and as a wine destination. Located on the 45th parallel, the greater Traverse City region is home to nearly 40 different wineries on the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsula wine trails.
Recently, Traverse Wine Coast announced nine Traverse City area wineries were given a total of 37 awards at the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition in Kansas City, Missouri. In particular, three wineries in the area that took the top honor home by winning the Jefferson Cup award—an honor bestowed on roughly five percent of the total entries. The winners include Aurora Cellars of Lake Leelanau for their Gruner Veltilner 2020, Riesling Dry 2020 and Gewurztraminer Med. Sweet 2020; Left Foot Charley of Traverse City for Le Caban Riesling 2019; and Two K Farms of Suttons Bay for Honeycrisp Ice 2019.
“As an ardent fan of wines from the peninsulas around Traverse City, I’m delighted to see how our competition continues to highlight the excellence of these wines,” said Doug Frost, founder and director of the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition. “Grapes like Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and more are being crafted into world class wines. The recent success at the Jefferson Cup merely provides more evidence of it.”
Traverse Wine Coast wineries also managed to capture an additional six gold medals, 23 silver medals and three bronze medals at the invitation-only event. The Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition overall included 750 wines from 27 different states.
“This is yet another competition that attests to the quality of the wines created in this region,” said Sherri Campbell Fenton, president of Traverse Wine Coast and managing owner of Black Star Farms. “We glimpse at the quality during the harvest process, we hear confirmation upon our customer’s tasting experience, and yet it’s always nice to receive national professional recognition.”
Traverse Wine Coast represents more than 40 different wineries across the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, collectively producing more than 60 percent of the state’s wines.
Wineries and awards:
Amoritas Vineyards, Lake Leelanau
Fascinator 2020, Gold | AV Bubbly, Silver | Pinot Blanc 2019, Silver | Bohn Dry Riesling, Silver | Happenstance 2019, Silver
Aurora Cellars, Lake Leelanau
Gruner Veltliner 2020, Jeff Cup | Riesling Dry 2020, Jeff Cup | Gewurztraminer Med. Sweet 2020, Jeff Cup | Blaufrankisch 2017, Gold | Cabernet Franc 2017, Sliver | Brut Rose nv, Silver
Brengman Brothers, Traverse City
Dagudscht Finest Craft Fizz 2018, Silver | Chenin Blanc 2020, Silver | Chardonnay Barrel-Aged 2018, Silver | Riesling Trocken 2020, Silver
Chateau Chantal, Traverse City
Riesling Proprietor’s Reserve 2020, Silver
Good Harbor Vineyards, Lake Leelanau
Blanc de Blanc nv, Gold | Chardonnay Unoaked 2019, Gold | Pinot Noir Zweigelt 2019, Silver | Blanc de Noirs nv, Silver | Pinot Grigio 2020, Silver | Chardonnay Tribute 2020, Silver
Left Foot Charley, Traverse City
Le Caban Riesling 2019, Jeff Cup | Kerner 2020, Silver | Riesling Seventh Hill Farm 2018, Silver | Blaufrankisch 2020, Bronze
Mawby Sparkling Wine, Suttons Bay
Ca. 2014, Silver | Gold nv, Bronze
Rove Estate, Traverse City
Ragaire Rose 2020, Gold | Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Silver | Unoaked Chardonnay 2020, Silver |
Two K Farms, Suttons Bay
Honeycrisp Ice 2020, Jeff Cup | Pommeau 2019, Gold | Spitzenberg 2020, Silver | Harrison 2020, Silver | Heirloom Ice 2020, Silver | Kingston Black 2020, Bronze |