Blog

Browse our deepest winemaking thoughts, delicious recipes, and recent news about the happenings at Shady Lane Cellars.


2016 Handcrafted From The Ground Up

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It is hard to put this season in perspective without framing it with the hardships and challenges of 2014 and 2015. It was as if nature herself knew it was time to ease up, and push on. We emerged out of what had been two of the most challenging, and lowest yielding harvests in 25 years at Shady Lane Cellars to what may have been the largest ever for our winery. Led by owner Richard Fortune, 2016 was about making connections with our guests, to this place, to our people, and with our wine. Everything handcrafted and cultivated, from the ground up.

Pomegranate Gravy

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Looking for a fun and interesting take on a holiday classic? Check out this great recipe for pomegranate gravy and take your holiday plate to the next level!

Choosing The Perfect Holiday Wine Is Done Together

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We are fast approaching that time of year…yes folks, family, food, fun…and oh yeah, opinions about everything…it’s the holidays! We love the holidays because it’s the time of year that brings people together, friends and family in particular. We laugh, drink and eat. We host parties, we go to parties and spend meaningful time together…and this is no reason to let our wine suffer!

Introducing Our Sister In Wine: Hennessy Harbor Vineyard

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Established by Mr. Richard Fortune in 2012, Hennessy Harbor Vineyard is the sister vineyard to Shady Lane Cellars Estate Vineyard. The site, which is named for Mr. Fortune’s Mother, Jane Hennessy Fortune and pays homage to her deep roots in the region. Mrs. Fortune first experienced Northern Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula in 1937, and it became a fixture of her family’s summers ever since.

When to Harvest. It's No Guessing Game!

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The 2016 harvest is in full swing! As the fruit ripens we use a handful of indicators paired with a little intuition, to make decisions about what and when to harvest. The development of sugar and the conversion of acid, along with the individual aromatic and flavor components that develop all play a role in our decisions and all have an impact on the final result.

Shady Lane Cellars Cider Brined Roast Chicken

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Roast chicken is one of my favorite things. Simple, yet flavorful it is a versatile and comfortable meal sure to please a variety of palates. And what better compliment to it, than Shady Lane Cellars hard apple cider. Check out the recipe below for a great Cider brined roast chicken that packs a powerful burst of flavor.

The Birds...

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Like the old Alfred Hitchcock film, The Birds, we too have nightmare troubles with birds. We have learned to stave off damage by deterring them with nets that cover the vines and loud cannons and squawk machines that scare the birds away. The squawk machines mimic the sounds of aggressive birds and birds of prey to scare starlings away. Starlings are the birds that fly in large formations during this time of year, eating copious amounts of food to ready themselves for migration. ​

Harvest Stompede 2016 - BBQ Chicken Flatbread

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A sweet and tangy delight, try our BBQ Chicken Flatbread featured at this years Harvest Stompede. We paired it with our 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé for a fun a light match sure to please any palate.

Wine Geek Series: Let’s Geek-Out on Véraison

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Let’s do it! Let’s get geeky and explore the science behind wine, because really that’s what’s going on in that lush glass of Pinot and that refreshing Riesling. Behind each bottle of wine is scads of plant physiology, biology, chemistry, biochemistry and maybe even a little physics. Join the wine geeks at Shady Lane for monthly installments as we dig deep into the pit of wine science and hopefully emerge with a glass in hand on the other side.

Small Plates 2016 - Pork Tostada

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Whether you made it to the Small Plates event this year, or missed it, check out this great recipe for a delicious Pork Tostada served with jicama slaw, roasted corn and black bean salsa and grilled pineapple. Sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next party!

Learn How We Make and Use Compost Tea!

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Working with a regional compost supplier, we have come up with the special blend of compost, organic fertilizers, and other minerals important for soil health that is tailored to the needs of our vines. Check out our latest video and learn more abut what we do with compost!

What Goes Into Our Coop de Pomme Hard Cider?

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First of all, did you know that we have hard cider? We do, and it's deliciously complex and full of bright, juicy flavors. But, do you know what kind of history goes into the production of hard cider?

The Breezy Sex Life of Wine Grapes

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Now, don't get too excited, we are going to briefly discuss the science behind sexual reproduction in wine grapes. This is a family-friendly blog, after all. This particular process is key to creating those delicious bottles of wine you enjoy because let's face it; we can't have wine without grapes. However, there are some interesting and unique aspects of reproduction in grapes.

Blaufränkisch: A Lesson on the Lesser Known

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Here at Shady Lane Cellars, we have a modest 3-acre plot of Blaufränkisch, otherwise known as Lemberger in Germany, and although our plot may be small, it produces wine with big personality. The Shady Lane Cellars Blaufränkisch is a dark red wine with layers of blueberry, blackberry, and mulberry fruit. A hint of black pepper and cedar spice finish this wine with aged, lush tannins and big mouthfeel.

The Hidden Wonders of Compost

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Last month we discussed various soil types found in our vineyards, and you learned the importance of matching a plant with its favored soil type, as well as the impact a soil can have on a plant. This month we will learn a little about the different things we do to keep our soil healthy and productive.

Tips for Summer Entertaining - Have Fun!

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Lastly, and most importantly have fun! If you have fun, your guests will have fun, and come on, that’s why you decided to do this in the first place. As the host you set the tone for your event. So this summer, take charge, plan ahead, invite your friends and make some memories because that is what life is all about!

Tips for Summer Entertaining - Create Ambiance

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You’ve taken the time to invite your friends over, prepare food and beverages, the space you are hosting in should feel like it was meant for the party. Take some time to put out any tables and chairs you might be using and set-up the bar. If you need to clean, do it a day or two in advance so the morning of you are not rushed. Using some candles and table cloths adds a nice element of sophistication. Don’t forget to pick up a small bouquet of flowers, or pull from your own garden, a simple centerpiece goes a long way.