BY MARY BEVANS GILLETT Special to the Record-Eagle
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Another winery has blossomed on the Old Mission Peninsula.
Hawthorne Vineyards is the eighth winery to operate on the Old Mission Peninsula, opening its new tasting room this week. It’s located on a ridge at 1000 Camino Maria Drive off Peninsula between Wilson and Gray roads.
Hawthorne Vineyards is a boutique winery that will feature single varietal wines handcrafted from grapes grown on the 26-acre vineyard, said marketing manager Marie-Chantal Dalese. The acreage has been planted to produce Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer and Lemberger (also known as Blue Franc). First year production is projected at 3,000 cases.
Access is off Peninsula, up a private drive leading to a secluded site combining wooded privacy with scenic bay views. Designed by architect Bradley Wheeler, the winery features an outdoor wine patio accentuated by a large fieldstone fireplace. Inside, expansive windows showcase panoramic views.
The tasting room is highlighted by an oval bar of Venetian gold granite with deep woods and corbel accents. A separate room is also available for private tastings and tours.
Owners Bruce and Cathleen Hawthorne of Beulah purchased the 88-acre site approximately eight years ago. A master gardener, Cathleen brings her passion for agriculture and wine to Hawthorne Vineyards, along with roots in northern Michigan that date back to the 1800s. That’s when her great-grandmother, Emily Hawley, and grandparents, William and Rosemary Revnell, homesteaded in Benzie County.
“This is the best investment we could make into people and place,” she said. “We are passionate about what we do, in making our wines the very best they can be … and it provides jobs.”
Along with Chantal-Dalese, the Hawthorne team includes winemaker Brian Hosmer, vineyard manager Paul Dalese and tasting room manager Jan VanMaanen. The tasting room will have a 12-member staff. Hosmer and the Daleses are also associated with Chateau Chantal, which provides management services to Hawthorne. However, the two wineries are separate and distinct and Hosmer is crafting wines made only from Hawthorne grapes.
“These are distinct and delicious wines that are specific to these vines,” Dalese said.
The addition has been welcomed by the association’s members.
“There is strength in numbers,” said Patrick Brys, operations manager of Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery. “We are thrilled to have another quality winery join the others on the Old Mission Peninsula.
“It’s good for WOMP (Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula) and it’s good for customers.”
Hawthorne Vineyards will join fellow WOMP wineries in observing Blossom Day on May 18. It presents its own grand opening celebration on Saturday, May 25, when the public is invited to visit and enjoy light appetizers and live music.
For more information, call 929-4206 or www.hawthornevineyards.com.