Harvest Stompede’s Wine and Food Pairing Tour @ Leelanau Peninsula

9 Sep

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We participated in Leelanau Peninsula’s Harvest Stompede, minus the running part.  We participated in the wine and food pairing portion of the stompede, held in Leelanau and Traverse City. We were given a huge list of wineries we could drive to along with a stemless wine glass (my favorite kind) for the wine tastings, and you are also given a small dish of whatever each winery is serving upon entry of the winery. The best part is that if you run out of time on Saturday you can continue your tour on Sunday.  Awesome deal!

On our way to Leelanau.

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Our first winery, Bel Lago served us a small mexican tortilla soup.  I didn’t get a chance to take a pic of it as I was too busy keeping an eye on the dozens of praying mantis that were overtaking the porch. Why is it that I am scared of the oddest things?  We really loved Bel Lago’s cherry wine and even took a bottle home with us along with a praying mantis. Just kidding, even though I am sure Luis would have loved to.

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Up next we drove to Black Star Farms.  This was a really nicely set up place and huge! You can stay the night or two, three, however long you want to stay in their Inn, they have horses, a barn, a cafe, a tasting room, and they make and sell cheese. We really enjoyed the layout and all the details the farm had. We didn’t leave with any wine, but we did buy Leelanau Cheese garlic cheese spread and a block of mild Raclette home with us.

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Next on our list was Chateau de Leelanau, which has a nice view of Suttons Bay.  They served us bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with onions caramelized in apple cider. So good! Wish I had a whole plate of that stuff.  I really enjoyed their Peach Fizz and I believe Luis liked their 2009 Chardonnay Sur Lie.  After our wine tasting we walked across the road to enjoy the view of Suttons Bay and had a little photo shoot.  More on that another day.

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We headed up the mountain from Chateau de Leelanau to Ciccone Vineyard and Winery.  It was the only winery we went to that didn’t have their vineyards all wrapped up which I thought was nice to actually see the grape vines. I also liked that they set up a private room for the Harvest Stompede participates to enjoy their wine and gazpacho, which was very tasty. I had never had gazpacho before, but I have always wanted to try it. The people working there were so nice and even gave me a copy of the recipe.  The other customer also thought they were nice since they kept taking pictures with one of the women who was serving us, but we later learned that the women was actually Madonna’s step mother and that was why people were posing with her. I just thought it was because she was so nice. We left home with a bottle of their 2011 Pinot Noir.

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Our last visit was to a place I have on my to-do list, Cherry Republic.  And yes, you read that correctly, our last place.  We didn’t go to very many, but we felt satisfied with the ones we did visit.

If we lived closer, Cherry Republic would definitely be my weekly weekend spot.  Not only did we try out some nice cherry sparkling wines and ciders, but we were also able to try each of their sodas made with what else, cherries!  All things cherry live here and it was all delicious.  They served three kinds of cherry cheese balls, which Luis fell in love with.  That man loves a good cheese ball ever since he tired one of my grandmother’s cheese balls one holiday visit.  They gave me the recipe for the cheese ball Luis liked the most, and we bought the ingredients from their store to make at home, which I have to make sometime this week.  We also bought a six pack of their cherry sodas; (1) cherry ginger ale, (1) cherry root beer, (2) cherry colas, (2) black cherry cream sodas. We couldn’t leave without having a bite to eat at their restaurant which had a lot of items with cherry in it. I ordered the chili which was sweet, so now I wonder if they might have added cherry to it. No matter, it was good. Even the coffee had cherry in it.  We opted for our favorite black cherry cream soda, so good.

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Afterwards we headed to The Sleeping Bear Dunes before our 3 hour trip back home, but you’ll have to wait for another day to read about that experience.  All I can give you is a little sneak peak of the view we saw of Lake Michigan while at the dunes.

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Now time for my addiction, Sunday night T.V. shows!

Happy Sunday!

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3 Responses to “Harvest Stompede’s Wine and Food Pairing Tour @ Leelanau Peninsula”

  1. Melanie Duffy September 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    This was a great post, Bridge. I enjoyed it very much and was tasting that wine with you…. Beautiful scenery too!

    ________________________________

  2. Elaine Miller September 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Darn it, Bridget! You are actually making me want to go to Michigan!!! Enjoyed the tour.

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