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Two Lads Winery
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

Two Lads WinerySummary: Visitors to Two Lads Winery will enjoy the location of the winery sitting atop a precipice with green vineyards in view of the blue Traverse Bay waters. Discover the red and white still wines and sparkling wines produced here. Two Lads focuses on growing cool climate red grapes. Currently the wines are available in the tasting room and in fine wine retailers in both Traverse City and Grand Rapids.

The tasting room and winery are located within view of Grand Traverse Bay. During September, the green fully leafed vines in the vineyards contrast delightfully with the blue water. The views from the vineyard and parking area as well as in the tasting room demand that one take several photographs.

Tasting Room

The modern design of the building complements the clean crispness of their wines. Inside the tasting room visitors will discover large glass windows that provide a sense of openness and a dynamic view of Grand Traverse Bay and the vineyards. The tasting bar faces the Bay allowing visitors to enjoy the view. In the center of the tasting room several tables with chairs are available encouraging people to stay awhile. The focus of the tasting room is on its wines. However a number of wine books and cookbooks are available.

Two Lads Winery     Two Lads Winery

Two Lads WineryOpposite the tasting counter, two large windows overlook the winery production area offering visitors the opportunity to see the winery in operation. A smaller room adjacent to the tasting area can accommodate small groups for a more intimate tasting experience. Posters, photographs and works of art adorn the dark blue walls.

Modern equipment is used in the winery production area that is kept very clean. A barrel aging room is on a lower level. Oak barrels are arranged one deep along the length of the room. At both ends of the aging room, neutral wood tanks are used for white wines. Chris Baldyga expects the winery to produce about 4,500 cases in 2010 and hopes to reach 5,300 to 6,000 cases in the future. Currently Two Lads wines are available in the tasting room and in fine wine retailers in both Traverse City and Grand Rapids.

Vineyards

Two Lads WineryThe 23 acres of vineyards at Two Lads Winery consist of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Former owners planted the first nine acres in 1999. Another 4.5 acres were planted in 2001. Two Lads Winery planted nine acres in 2008. The focus of the winery is on producing red wines. Using techniques such as leaf pulling on the left and right help brix levels reach 24 to 26 brix in warmer vintages.

At the time of our visit in mid-September, Chardonnay grapes were just days away from harvest. The once green berries had taken on a golden yellow color. The Chardonnay tasted sweet and the almost brown seeds had a crunchy nutty taste. Birds would like to begin harvesting these berries, however a gun canon made a gun shot sound every few minutes. While walking through the vineyards, there was no presence of birds. Netting is also used to protect the grapes from birds.

Two Lads WineryWhite Wines

Pinot Grigio 2009 was a straw-yellow color. The aroma and taste offered citrus especially grapefruit nuances. The finish had a long aftertaste. Chardonnay 2009 was straw colored. The aroma and taste had apple and citrus nuances. The crisp finish yielded to smoothness. Riesling 2009 was yellow with a floral aroma. The taste was like a fruit salad of apple and hints of citrus. The finish was crisp and slightly sweet.

Rosé Wine

Rosé was produced with Cabernet Franc. This almost dark red wine had strawberry notes on the aroma. The taste offered strawberry and raspberry notes. The finish was fruity with strawberries yielding to a hint of pepper.

Red Wines

Pinot Noir 2009 was red with Sienna hues. The aroma offered spices with smoke nuances. The taste was of red berry fruit while the finish was crisp and fruity. Cabernet Franc 2008 was a blend of 86 percent Cabernet Franc and 14 percent Merlot. The color was red-purple. There were dark fruit with spice nuances on the aroma. The taste was of dark fruit. The finish was crisp with light tannins and fruit yielding to spice.

Two Lads WineryEnjoy a visit to Two Lads Winery and be sure to take a camera for some great photo opportunities.

Two Lads Winery
16985 Smokey Hollow Road
Traverse City, Michigan 49686

GPS: N44º 56.045’ W85º 29.759’

 

 

 


 

                                  

 
 
   

 


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