Winding your way through the gorgeous country roads of Old Mission Peninsula, spellbound by row after row of vineyards and glimpses of the shimmering waters of Grand Traverse Bay, it’s easy to assume any wine you taste on the peninsula was grown right here in this magical place. They were grown on those vines you admire when venturing your way out to sip wine in your favorite slice of heaven, of course.
Truth be told, not all wineries grow the grapes that eventually become the wines you love so much and some go so far as to have very little involvement in the entire growing and winemaking process from start to finish. Here at Chateau Grand Traverse, we’ve long been committed to our place in the industry as a vine-to-wine operation.
Vine-to-Wine at CGT
We’ve always loved the term farm-to-fork but seeing as wine would slip right through the tines in a fork, vine to wine seemed the perfect way to refer to our business.
Let’s walk you through our involvement in each step of the process from vine to wine, and what it means for the wines we produce:
In the Vineyards
While the public’s focus is often on our wines (and our winemakers), we are farmers first and foremost.
The wines you sip in our tasting room and in your home begin in our vineyards, composed of over 200 acres of grapes planted mostly on southwest- / west-facing slopes along the central ridge of Old Mission Peninsula. These vineyards produce over 700 tons of grapes during an average year.
In managing our own vineyards, we’re able to carefully manage inputs and growing practices to bring to life the most flavorful grapes year after year. Of course, we can’t control the weather and other surprises nature throws our way, but managing the vineyards ourselves gives us the power to control what we are able to.
Hands-on involvement with the grapes also allows our winemaker to be out in the vines regularly tasting grapes and testing the properties of their juice to decide the perfect moment for harvest. When the balance of sugars and acid reaches the optimal point, our crews can get out to harvest quickly.
In the Winery
We bring the flavors of those wisely grown and harvested grapes to life inside the winery, where our winemaking team monitors the process from start to finish. From the first steps of receiving and pressing the grapes through fermentation, barrel aging and bottling – this is where the wines really come to life and their flavors are perfected.
The perfect way to experience our vine-to-wine approach is to visit the winery for one of our winery tours to see our operation firsthand. Follow your tour with a tasting, and you’ll have experienced the entire process, from vine to wine!
Want to read more about where our vine-to-wine roots began? Reading about the pioneers of Old Mission Peninsula is the perfect place to start.