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Brewvine: Blustone Vineyards

While the winter months may seem quiet for the wineries in Leelanau County, there is always something happening at .

“There’s always something going on,” said Barbara Hanks, retail experience manager for . “Whether it be bottling, the wine making process, starting pruning on the vines, because they all have to be hand pruned and ready for the next season, it’s never ending there always something going on.”

And something going on at Blustone right now, adds some adventure to your wine tasting experience.

“We do offer snowshoeing here, it’s one of the few times of year that you can actually go out and experience the vines because we are a working farm so we have equipment and things like that so it’s not normally something we allow our guests to do,” she said. “So it’s a great time to come out and actually do a tasting, do an experience, grab your snowshoes and have some fun out in the vines. You’ll probably run into our vineyard manager, in fact John is out pruning right now as we speak right alongside the tasting room getting the vines ready to start waking up for spring.”

With the appearing of spring, comes the arrival of their highly anticipated 2019 wines.

“We just bottled our 2019 vintages, of course they’re not ready in the tasting room they won’t be in here for a while yet,” said Barbara. “We do have one 2019 that we just released that is our 2019 Blu Sparkling Riesling, it is a wonderful, light, crisp, delicate Riesling. It’s all of the wonderful things you’d expect from a Riesling. That one is available in the tasting room now. That one we did an early release on it so that’s here to try and taste, the others will not be ready for probably another month or so.”

If you’re looking to get the most out your wine tasting session, Barbara has some advice.

She said “try something new, get rid of the sweet and dry terms and just try wines because you can be really surprised and try a wine that is technically dry, a white wine, aged in stainless steel and because that particular grape can be so fruit forward, the perfect example is our naked chardonnay, it normally hits the palate as sweet even though technically it is one of the driest whites we have.”

In addition to their beautiful fruit forward whites, Blustone is excited for customers to fall for their robust reds.

“The cab franc we made for the first time last season in 2018 and we literally sold out of it in about three months, it was gone so I’m really excited to have that coming back in,” said Barbara. “Everybody knows that 2019 was a little difficult on some of the varietals, not so for the pinot Gris, it did very well this year. We expect to have a really, really great vintage out of the ’19.”

They recently took home a gold medal for their casual, red blend called Ad Lib in a national competition.

“The wines here are on par with anywhere else in the world, without a doubt,” she said.