Traverse City Record-Eagle


June 26, 2014

Aurora Cellars to open

LAKE LEELANAU – Aurora Cellars is the next winery set to open on the Leelanau Peninsula, and promises fine local wine and old-world charm.

Taylor Simpson and Sam Simpson, siblings and Good Harbor Vineyards employees, are helping owners and principals David and Faye Mathia start the new wine business.

"Our staff is enthusiastic, they're energetic and they're ready to open," Taylor Simpson said. "Everyone is beyond excited for this new venture."

Aurora Cellars will offer varieties such as cabernet franc, chardonnay, pinot gris, cherry wine, hard cider, blends and sparkling wines. Wine is made with grapes from Aurora Cellars’ vineyard and other Leelanau Peninsula vineyards. Locally sourced food paired to the wine will be available.

“It’s really all-inclusive,” Sam Simpson said. “It encompasses the whole wine-consuming experience.”

Aurora Cellars is located at 7788 E. Horn Drive in Lake Leelanau, the same location as the closed Circa Estate Winery. Taylor Simpson expects Aurora Cellars to attract customers who travel between Leland and Suttons Bay and said the new winery is poised for success thanks to its new, knowledgeable staff, updated tasting room and business model.

“The business model put in place for this winery is dramatically different from the business model of Circa," she said. "We have a larger variety and can offer affordable wine to someone who might not want to spend $25 on a bottle, and we have higher-end wines for people who want something a little more expensive.”

Aurora Cellars will open July 3. More information will be available at

David Mathia is the former owner of the CenterPointe building, which recently sold to Steven Busch.

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