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Taste and tour Michigan’s best wines and brews - Tri-County Times: Tri-County Times Newspaper: Fenton, Linden And Holly MI News Source

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Taste and tour Michigan’s best wines and brews

Local wineries and breweries offer ‘sip’ and ‘pour’ opportunities as part of Michigan’s agriculture tourism

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Posted: Thursday, June 29, 2017 4:04 pm

Michigan’s wineries and breweries have created an agricultural tourism industry in our state, which is a draw to visitors in every region, even in the tri-county area.

Wineries

 Boasting more than 125 wineries, Michigan ranks No. 9 in the number of wineries in the U.S. and ranks No. 8 in the Top 10 wine producing states in the country, according to PureMichigan.com.

 With four certified American Viticulture Areas (designated wine growing regions), Michigan’s unique glacial soils create unique flavors and finishes to please even the most discriminating palate.

 Michigan travel now includes romantic wine weekends, wine tastings, singles getaways to wine country and just random stops at nearby wineries.

 Close-by wineries include Fenton Winery & Brewery at 1370 N. Long Lake Rd. in Fenton Township, now in its 10th year of business.

 Owned by Matt and Ginny Sherrow, Fenton Winery & Brewery produces more than 20 wines, including, white, red and fruit-infused. The tastes vary from dry to sweet, stainless steel-aged to oak barrel-aged. There is a steady rotation of seasonal wines and specialties, such as Apple Pie Wine in the fall, Mulled Red Wine in the winter and their award-winning House Port fortified with French barrel-aged Brandy.

 All winemaking, blending and aging is done onsite. Their huge, Italian stainless steel tanks can produce more than 5,700 bottles of wine at a time. Most of the grapes are sourced from California, where there is ample supply and variety available for the high demand in Michigan. They source Michigan fruits like apples and cherries for their blended styles.

 The Fenton Winery & Brewery taproom offers beer and wine by the sampler tray or by the glass. Situated in a beautiful rural setting, their wine and brewpub business has also evolved into a popular local wedding venue.

 Seven Lakes Vineyard & Winery in Holly Township is the only vineyard of its kind in Oakland County. Formerly in aerospace and manufacturing, owner Robert Diez is in his second career as a wine maker and producer, learning the winery business through hard work and research.

 Diez has created several wines, including hard cider, which he considers Seven Lakes’ signature wine, plus a pinot grigio, a cabernet sauvignon and several others. He sells his wines at his retail winery, local farmers markets, private events and local arts and crafts fairs, as well as online.

 Seven Lakes Vineyard’s tasting room is open for the season on Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 5, at 1111 S. Tinsman Rd.

 Spicer’s Winery at 10411 Clyde Rd., in Hartland Township, offers wine tasting, wine/cider by the glass, with a variety of orchard-grown fruit wines, an assortment of traditional grape wines and four signature hard cider blends.

Breweries

 The craft beer craze has been sweeping Michigan, especially in the last decade. Michigan is fifth in the nation in the number of breweries, microbreweries and pubs, according to PureMichigan.com.

 Michigan is home to Beer City USA-Grand Rapids and other beer-centric cities like Ann Arbor, Lansing, Traverse City, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Marquette and Ypsilanti. With all four seasons, Michigan is a great place to try seasonal beers.

 Beer enthusiasts often make pilgrimages to well-known breweries like Bell’s Brewery in Comstock, Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids or Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire.

 But finding the perfect pour in Michigan is as close as Lynchpin Beer Company in Fenton, Fenton Winery & Brewery and Northern Oak Brewery in Holly.

 Lynchpin Beer Company serves handcrafted ales from their one-barrel brew house behind The Laundry, using Tops Hops Farm in Goodrich for their hops and malts. Lynchpin Beer is available only at The Laundry, and is also served seasonally outdoors in their biergarten.

 The Fenton Winery & Brewery opened their brewery in 2009, keeping 13 taps flowing with grain to glass brews made in an all-electric brewery. They produce over 40 different recipes of craft beer annually. The taproom generally has 14 styles available on tap. Some favorites on draft include Swingin’ Berries Double Cream Stout, Staggering Bull Imperial Nut Brown and Eminent Double IPA.

 Different beers can be sampled in the taproom or to-go by the bottle or growler fill. It is also available at bars and restaurants throughout southeast Michigan.

 Northern Oak Brewery opened in September 2015 at 806 N. Saginaw St., across from Bevins Lake in Holly. They have recently installed 16 more taps to their current eight taps. “Twenty out of the 24 (taps) will be dedicated to our craft beers and the other four will be hard ciders and wines,” said Jeff Coon, director of brewing operations and one of three operating co-owners. “We’re in the process right now of getting our wine-making license.”

 Northern Oak Brewery is on target for producing 500 barrels this year, for use in their brewery/restaurant and also distributed through the Bay City and the Alpena areas. “We also self-distribute locally,” said Coon. “Our porter is a perfect pairing for Beale Ste. Smokehouse BBQ’s smoked meats.” Currently, their top sellers are Battle Alley IPA and the Tax Man, a New England IPA.

 For more details about Michigan wine trails and events, visit:

Michigan.org/wineries

Miwinetrail.com/wineries

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