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Shady Lane Cellars
K.L. Sullivan

Summary: Shady Lane Cellars is known for its Semi-dry Riesling. Consider ordering a flight of wines, which enables you to compare four different wines with a food. The staff says that “Riesling is what we do best.” Adam Satchwell, winemaker, believes that the winery can compete with anyone in the world with its Riesling wines. With Riesling and Pinot Noir, Shady Lane Cellars is proud of their "extraordinary and unique wines."

Shady Lane Cellars vineyardShady Lane Cellars on the Leelanau Peninsula is located on a property that was originally a combination of peach and cherry orchards. The tasting room occupies a chicken coop built in 1914. The current owners, Dr. Joe O’Donnell and Bill Stouten, purchased the property in 1988. The first 11 acres of vineyards were planted in 1989 with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Vignoles. Currently the vineyards occupy more than 50 acres with additional plantings planned for 2008.

The first vintage for Shady Lane was in 1992. Today the winery produces over 6,000 cases and the plans are to increase acreage and production. As of this year, the winery is primarily an estate winery.

wine flight

Shady Lane Cellars has a wonderful flight availability. The wine attendant serves the flight on individual circular trays with four wines and a food item. The flight trays are prepared behind the tasting counter and taken to a table. Variations of the flight trays are available. Each wine has a label tag attached to the bottom of the glass. Tasters have the advantage to taste the wines on the tray in any order or sequence they choose. With the four wines served simultaneously, it is easy to compare the color and to repeat a taste of any wines on the tray.





Shady Lane CellarsWhen you visit Shady Lane Cellars, be sure to observe the construction of the tasting room. The outside is of fieldstone and the building is a refurbished, two-level chicken coop. The lower level, once used for granary storage now has an assortment of wine accessories and small tables for sitting and enjoying a flight of wines. The upper level where the chickens had been kept now hosts a wine counter and more wine accessories. Inside the tasting room, the walls and ceilings are finished with Douglas Fir. During the summer, a large tent is set up with patio tables and chairs. Adam likes this enlargement of the tasting room because it turns the tasting into an experience for visitors. This gives visitors an opportunity to take their time and discuss the nuances of the wines with friends and family.


Shady Lane Cellars winesShady Lane Cellars Sparkling RieslingThe Shady Lane Sparkling Riesling was extra dry and very fruity. It was cleansing on the finish. Sparkling Riesling was fruit friendly and pairs well with spicy food. Semi-dry Riesling is the biggest seller. It had a fruit nose and taste with a medium body. It was sweet with three percent residual sugar but not syrupy. Pinot Noir Rosé was a salmon color. It had a light, fruity nose. It was fruity, fresh and clean. It makes a good summer sipping wine. Pinot Noir had a red/light purple color with a red fruit and earthiness on the nose. The taste was very smooth with fruit and earthiness on the aftertaste. The Late Harvest Vignoles, harvested in December, had fruit and nuts on the nose. It had a fruity taste with a hint of botrytis. It was sweet with a medium body and yet not syrupy. It had a long aftertaste of pineapple.

When you visit Shady Lane Cellars, ask someone to point out the small windows where the chickens were able to access the chicken coup from outside. Consider ordering a flight of wines.

Shady Lane Cellars
9580 Shady Lane
Suttons Bay, Michigan

GPS:  N 44°  53.156'  W 085°  39.733'





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