Mackinaw Trail Winery, the first winery in the Upper Peninsula, has walls up for an 8,500-square-foot cellar and tasting room on U.S. 131, one mile south of Petoskey.
What a success story: Since opening in 2004 in Manistique, it didn’t take long for owners Ralph and Laurie Stabile to give up their day jobs — he was in telecommunications, she was a bank loan officer — to grow their small business to what it is today: production of 6,000 cases, which makes it much more than a boutique winery, and tasting rooms in both peninsulas.
Mackinaw has tasting rooms in Manistique, Mackinaw City and the Gas Light district of Petoskey. And the new facility under construction a short distance from Petoskey will have a tasting room, too.
“Things took off when we got our wines distributed throughout the state,” Ralph Stabile (pronounced sta-BILL) said this week.
“It’s crazy,” Stabile said. “We ran out of room; we needed a bigger facility.”
By December, he said he hopes to move all the equipment from Manistique to the new site and open the tasting room.
About half of Mackinaw Trail wines are fruit wines including cranberry, blackberry and cherry sangria. The grape wines include Cabernet Franc, Dry Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and more.
Son Dustin, 27, who studied winemaking and viticulture at Michigan State, is the winemaker.
The Stabiles source fruits and wine grapes from all over the state, and plan to put in a small vineyard at the new site, focusing on cold hardy grape varieties — Marquette, Frontenac Gris and Osceola Muscat.
Learn more at www.mackinawtrailwinery.com.
YE OLDE WINE SHOPPE TO CLOSE AT END OF SEPTEMBER
Here’s a toast to Dennis Walsh, who after 40 years in the wine business and 50 years working in retail, is changing gears.
He is closing Ye Olde Wine Shoppe, at the corner of South Boulevard and Crooks in Rochester Hills, on Sept. 29, after a quarter century in business.
“I’m closing basically because of a combination of things,” he said this week, citing lease problems, an upcoming surgery and family reasons.
Walsh’s name is a familiar one in wine circles, having managed the London Chop House during founder Lester Gruber’s era, running the Channel 56 wine auction for a dozen years, selling wine at Red Wagon Wine Shoppe and managing A.H.D. Vintners, a local wine wholesaler.
He invites everybody to stop by and take advantage of special pricing to clear his inventory.
Call the store at (248) 852-5533.
Nadal Daher, a longtime wine instructor, sommelier and wine cellar builder, will resume classes at the Community House in Birmingham in September.
Topics include Introduction to Wine, South of the Equator, Champagne/Sparkling Wines, an advanced course in Napa and Bordeaux, and more.
Get the details and register at www.tchserves.org.