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Walloon Lake Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Walloon Lake WinerySummary: Walloon Lake Winery is a boutique family-owned winery with vineyards located on the property. The winery produces red and white wines. Hard ciders are also available. In addition to the tasting room, Walloon has an event facility just steps from the winery.

Upon arriving at Walloon Lake Winery we enjoyed the ambiance of the winery and tasting room facility with its unique design. In October, the front steps were decorated with pumpkins and the front porch area had cornstalks; all welcoming the autumn days. Later we noticed a patio at the back of the winery that offered views of the young vineyards.

Walloon Lake WineryWalloon Lake Winery is a family-owned and operated winery in Michigan’s Tip of the Mitt AVA. The winery established by Tim and Marta Dennis, is also owned by Britta and Conor Dennis. The winemaker, Matt Killman is married to Britta. Matt commented that he met Britta at a wine competition. Tim added, “It was my first wine competition. I won a medal and a son-in-law.”

The winery and vineyard are located on the farm property that Tim grew up on. After retirement from careers in education, Tim and Marta thought about planting grapevines on the land. After attending a seminar, “So You Want to Start a Winery” the couple decided to plant a vineyard and produce wine.

Tim designed the tasting room building which features a curved tasting counter. The unique interior walls are made of plaster with the ends of logs visible. In an alcove, a fireplace of large, well-worn stones offers a coziness to the room. The impressive pine ceiling is unusual with its angles and sloping sides. Tim commented that the ceiling design was a lot of work to implement.

Vineyards

Walloon Lake WineryThe winery and vineyard started up in the summer of 2013. In 2019 Walloon Lake Winery has six acres under vine. The family intends to add an acre of grapevines each year. Eventually the winery will produce all-estate wines.

Grape varieties include: Marquette, LaCrescent, Petite Pearl. Sabrevois, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris and Frontenac Blanc. The climate here is slightly different than in other areas of the Tip of the MItt. Grape buds do not break out too early. During the fall, the grapes tend to ripen about 10 days later with frost coming later. The temperature is cooler in the spring.

The family at Walloon Lake Winery "want people to know that they hope all customers enjoy their experience here as much as we enjoy being here." They truly appreciate all the people who have come to the winery. Tim said, “Our expectation is to have the best wines in this area and best wine in the state and possibly in the country.” He added, “We appreciate the good will of the people.” A wine bottle back label reads, “A 65 year tradition of family and farming is the motivation for Walloon Lake Winery. We hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor.”

The winery offers public and private events. Events at Walloon Lake include Pilates and Paint & Sip. The winery can also accommodate weddings, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties and corporate events.

Walloon Lake Wines

Walloon Lake WineryMatt went to school to study Environmental Studies; he also took some wine classes. The names of the wines are named for different areas of the Walloon Lake. Matt commented that it is really great to be on a boat and drinking the wine named for the location. The image design on the wine bottle labels, wine glasses and on the tasting counter is the outline of Walloon Lake.

Walloon Lake WineryThe 2018 Windemere’s name is from Ernest Hemingway’s cottage at Windemere. This wine had 12% alcohol and was a light yellow color. The wine was a blend of La Crescent, Frontenac Gris, and Frontenac Blanc from the Tip of the Mitt AVA. The aroma was of citrus and tropical fruit. The taste included pineapple, melon and citrus. The mouthfeel was velvety. The fruity finish was crisp.

Wildwood 2018 with 12% alcohol had 0.5 g/L of residual sugar. This wine, produced with the La Crescent grape was a light gold color. The aroma was of tropical fruits. The taste included notes of mango, pineapple and peach. The finish was crisp.

NV Mainsail Red was 12% alcohol. This wine was produced with Frontenac and a small splash of Marquette. The wine was an opaque ruby color. The aroma and taste included of cherries and baking spices. This wine was medium-to-full bodied with medium tannins. The finish was crisp with fruit and spice blended together.

North Arm Noir 2017 had 13% alcohol. This wine was chosen the Best Dry Red in the state in 2017. The wine was produced with Marquette grapes. The wine was a translucent red color. The aroma and taste included notes of cherry with some baking spices. The wine was medium to full bodied with mild tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Randall’s Point Red 2018 had 12% alcohol with less than 10 g/L residual sugar. The wine was an opaque ruby color. The aroma was reminiscent of a black fruit salad. The taste included black cherry, black plums and black caps. This was a medium-full bodied wine with mild tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity. Pair this wine with pasta, red meat and BBQ. This wine is good for people who like white or red wine.

Regatta Rosé 2018 was a blend of Marquette, La Crescent and Frontenac Gris. The wine was a translucent light red color. The aroma was of red berry fruit. The taste included notes of strawberries and red raspberries. The finish was crisp and fruity. This wine is a good 3P wine - good for the patio, porch or pool.

While traveling through the Petoskey wine region be sure to stop by Walloon Lake Winery. The atmosphere is laid back and restful. Lite bites are available for purchase to accompany a tasting.

Walloon Lake Winery
3149 Intertown Rd.
Petoskey, Michigan 49770

GPS N45º 20.4425’ W85º 00.2801’

 

 

Article written November 2019.

 



 

                                  

 
 
   

 


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