Chateau Chantal offers a wide variety of fine wines, from very dry to lightly sweet, grown on our Old Mission Peninsula vineyards in Northern Michigan. We work from a 55 acre vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina where we produce a rich Malbec red wine. In addition, we have our own still and produce an oak aged grape based brandy and cherry based eau-de-vie.
Each of our hand-crafted wines is produced under our winemaker’s meticulous supervision from vineyard to bottle. Our vineyard development in Michigan began in 1983 when sweet and tart cherry orchards were replaced with grafted grape vines of the vinifera species – the same type grown along other parts of the forty-fifth parallel in regions such as Bordeaux, France. Our wines have won several awards, including seven gold medals at the 2014 Taster’s Guild International Wine Competition.
Bottle Poetry by Larry Walker
In July the grapes
Are longing for the barrels
That hold this summer
Wine is a product of the earth. It's a magical way for capturing the sunshine of the summer of 2005 in a bottle. Wine, more than any other agricultural product, tells the story of a year, and we forget that at our peril.
Sure, it is the great mass of near-industrial wines that keeps the cash flowing, but would that be true if the consumer weren't reaching for something else? Something that appeals to that human instinct to give meaning to existence? I would argue that what is in the bottle is important, but beyond that, the idea of what's in the bottle is even more important.
The late and much missed Leon D. Adams, wine historian and ave storyteller, always argued that wine is not about alcohol. Wine is about telling stories, Leon said. Wine is about friendship, about love, about passion and desire, not just about the bottom line.
In a marvelous book called Wines and Vineyards of Spain, the great Catalan winemaker Miguel Torres wrote: "Today our society stands more than ever in need of wine: honest, sincere wine, which brings men together...Think of a banquet where the guests hardly glance at the food...they feel uncomfortable and ill-at-ease. But as the wine works its alchemy, conversation flows, ideas expand, eyes sparkle, friendships flourish. it is then that man's true nature is revealed. He is, after all, a sociable being; and to live, he must communicate, know that he is appreciated and feel that he is among friends."
That is what the wine business is about. When you tend the grapes here in mid-summer, you are creating dreams, just as surely as the poets do.
It's an important job. Do it well.
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