Better Know the Fennville AVA

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

As I get ready to start exploring Michigan (still trying to get Marguerite to come with me for some of these….), I ran into the problem of trying to figure out which to do first. After giving it some thought, I decided to go in order of their creation. Which means that Fennville. This viticulture area was designated October 19, 1981 and contains 75,000 acreas of coastal Lake Michigan between the Kalamazoo and Black Rivers. The soils are sandy and glacial and temperatures are moderated by the deep waters of Lake Michigan. The vineyards in the area are capable of producing both Vitis vinifera and Vitis labrusca grapes. Oh, and did I mention that this wines from this area is a great locapour option for those of you living around the Great Lakes? It is true.

The problem that I am having with this AVA is determining is whether there are any wineries producing wine with the Fennville Appellation AVA. Per an article in 2007 at Appellation America indicated that only one winery existed in the viticulture area, Fenn Valley Vineyards. However, when I checked the website for Fenn Valley, I found that the wine pictured at their site was labelled under the Lake Michigan Shore appellation in which Fennville is completely contained. So, am I confused? yes. I will let you know if I have answers soon.

In the meantime, I have prepared the map for the possibly useless AVA.

Fennville AVA ~ Western Michigan

Wineding Road – Michigan

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

Yes, I have a lot of material from places that I have already been, but I have a little ADD. I sometimes, just need to move on to a new topic and this is one that I am pleased to get to… as it is about local wine. It is my home state of Illinois’ neighbor to the east, Michigan.

Why Michigan? Well, a lot of their wines are within 100 miles of my house making them very locapour…

Michigan has been producing wine from local wine grapes since the late 1600s. Yes, 1600s.

Currently the 2,000 acres of wine grapes planted in Michigan are a mixture of American (vitis labrusca), Eurasian (vitis vinifera) and hybrid varietals. Michigan is home to over 100 wineries and four viticulture areas: Fennville, Lake Michigan Shore, Leelanau Peninsula and Old Mission Peninsula. Michigan is famous for its fruit wines, ice wines and also for their sparkling wines that have made the wine lists of some of the best restaurants (Charlie Trotter, The Girl and the Goat to name a few).

So let’s begin our exploration of Michigan wine! As always, if you have a favorite, please let me know (and Marguerite too).

Michigan Wineries