Blog

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


Dichotomous Farmers: Enjoying Warm Sunshine but Hoping for More Winter

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Many Michiganders are rejoicing at the sight of the sun in February and the unseasonably warm temperatures that have accompanied it as of late. It has indeed been an unusually warm winter overall in Northwest Michigan. I love downhill and cross-country skiing and if you enjoy winter sports like me, this has been quite frustrating. If your outdoor activities cease at shoveling a path to your car so you can warm it up for your drive to work, you may be singing and dancing in the now snowless streets. At least we can all agree that the sunshine has been glorious.

Wine Tasting Party! How to Make Winter Fun Indoors.

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It’s cold; it’s dark, and the snow is a sloppy mess. Down and out, you might also be experiencing the post-holiday blues, or a simple lack of vitamin D has you hunkered down binge watching all seven seasons of Mad Men or worse, Friends. There is a cure. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it will boost your popularity with minimal effort. Host a wine tasting! OK, before you dismiss this fantastic idea please know that the hardest part about hosting a wine tasting is you will have to do a little house cleaning. Besides that, it’s simple.

Late Harvest Riesling: A Tale of Winter Wine

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It is that time of year again- holiday parties, gift buying and giving, mistletoe smooches with your special someone, crackling fires, bad sweater parties, and strange desserts that have no business being made- put down that fruitcake recipe! It is also the time of year to think about and drink about a bottle or four, of your favorite Late Harvest wine or Icewine.

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?