(0) | $0.00

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Alaina Dodds
 
May 21, 2019 | Alaina Dodds

The Michigan Wine Chair 2.0

It's Michigan Wine Month!

 

What better way to celebrate than by drinking a glass of delicious local wine, while sitting in a Michigan state shaped chair, and getting your back massaged all at the same time! Check out the GENIUS invention (which should be next to the term Self Care in the Urban Dictionary), the Michigan Wine Chair 2.0 created by Thompson Woodworks.  Does it get any better than this?! We think not!

(bonus: the wine being poured is Bowers Harbor Vineyards 2896 Langley 🍷).

 

Time Posted: May 21, 2019 at 6:17 PM
Alaina Dodds
 
December 12, 2018 | Alaina Dodds

Shipping Promotion and Top 10 Gifting Ideas

She's baaaaaack! We know you're stocking up for all of the holiday parties you have coming up, and we know you need more wine for your own personal stash...so we have ONE MORE chance for you to stock up and save BIG! This will be the last shipping promo we do until February!

Enjoy $5 Shipping for 12+ bottles and $10 shipping for 6-11 bottles of Wine and/or Spirit Cider! 

*If ordering 12 bottles or more, please order in 12 bottle increments, like 12, 24, 36...)
*Offer is valid Monday, 12/10/18 - Monday, 12/17/18 and 11:59 p.m.

🍷Promo Shoppers🍷

Promo Code:
SHIPDEAL for 6-11 bottles
SHIP12 for 12+ bottles

Enjoy Our Quantity Discounts:
10% off 6-11 bottles
15% off 12+ bottles 
20% off 36+ bottles

🍷Wine Club Members 🍷

Promo Code: 
SHIPDEALCLUB for 6-11 bottles
SHIP12CLUB for 12+ bottles

*This shipping promotion may not be used in conjunction with your quarterly wine club shipment.
SHOP HERE 

 

Top 10 Gifting Ideas

 

Cutting Board

How cool is this cutting board with the BHV logo?! It is made out of smooth, light wood and would also be perfect for serving or displaying several cheeses or appetizers at a party! Do you have a chef in your family who would love one of these? 

Box Sign

We have so many cute and sassy box signs that I'm sure you'll be able to find one that speaks to you! I love setting these up around my house as a little reminder not to take life so seriously. Also, since this box sign is talking directly to the dog lovers, I must point out that we have a whole page in our online gift shop dedicated to dog lovers. 

$150 one-time joining fee

Spirit Cider Society Membership

Membership Includes: 

  • Stainless Steel Growler
  • First Growler Fill Free
  • Spirit Cider Hat
  • Spirit Cider Decal Sticker
  • Pint Glass to Take Home
  • First Access to Newly Released Cider
  • 15% Off All Spirit Cider & Spirit Cider Merchandise
  • Free Birthday Pint
  • Special Activities & Events for Cider Club Members

To see all membership perks and to join online, click here

Coffee Mug

This adorable coffee or tea mug also has our BHV logo on the back. It's calling your friend's name (you know, the one who complains about work a lot or the one who has small children?)!

Cork Cage

Who's the crafter in your life? Chances are, she's done a cork project at some point in her crafting career. These cork cages are a cute way for her to save her corks for her next project! I also love to use mine to save the corks of all the super special bottles of wine we drink, as a way to remember them and the great times we had. We have tons of different cork cages, check them all out here

Wine Bottle Tag

Wine bottle tags are the perfect addition to the wine you always bring as a hostess gift. This little memento will make your wine bottle stand out against all of the others and bring a smile to her face. Check out all of the wine bottle tags we have and pick one that reminds you of her, for an extra (and thoughtful!) gift. 

Wine Gift Box

Wine gift boxes are a great way to show your love from afar. They are stuffed with local products, two wines each and are really fun to open! We have three different boxes to choose from, our Red Wine Gift Box which is shown to the left, a Flagship Wine Gift Box and a Dog Lovers Wine Gift Box. You can see them all and their contents here

Wine Sippy Cup

These to-go sippy cups are so popular! I'm gifting one in a white elephant gift exchange because I know my friends will fight over it. They love their wine to-go...not in an illegal way or anything, more in a to-go to the beach, to-go outside, to-go on a hike...kind of way. They are stainless steel with your choice of white (shown here), teal or pink lid! 

Gift Card

Gift cards serve many purposes. They allow the giftee to pick out their own gift, they're perfect for "the person who has everything", they are easy to mail in a card (or simply e-mail), you don't have to wonder whether they will like it or not...and the list goes on and on. We have a plastic gift card (shown here) that you can add to a card or we have an e-gift card that you can send to them via email. Both options are here

Wine

And last but certainly not least...don't forget about wine! Everyone needs it! Especially delicious wine and Spirit Cider from Bowers Harbor Vineyards. We have sparkling, red, white, dessert wine and hard cider sure to satisfy even the toughest of critics. 

Time Posted: Dec 12, 2018 at 9:46 AM
Alaina Dodds
 
February 15, 2018 | Alaina Dodds

Riesling: The Diamond of Grapes

Riesling is what I would consider to be the heart of our wine country. It is such a dynamic grape with an astonishing diversity of styles, pure fruit flavors and aromatic qualities. The biggest misconception about Riesling is that Rieslings are always sweet. Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Here at Bowers Harbor Vineyards we have FIVE different Riesling wines, and they range from crisp and dry to dessert-sweet.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that acid is a crucial component in a well-balanced Riesling?

Riesling is immediately pleasing, even to new wine drinkers. It’s ALL about the fresh fruit, with no oak or heavy tannins. Michigan wine country has been exploding year after year, and more wine lovers are not only visiting us, but finding out about our wines. While we have a lot of other wines to offer them in addition to Riesling, Riesling is what originally put us on the map. Some of the best Rieslings in the entire world come from our very own backyard.

Fun Fact:

Spencer Stegenga, Proprietor of Bowers Harbor Vineyards, was the first in the state of Michigan to grow and bottle single-vineyard Rieslings. A single-vineyard Riesling is a limited bottling of a Riesling harvested from only one distinct vineyard plot, rather than combining grapes harvested from a variety of locations. The beauty of a single-vineyard Riesling is its ability to reflect the characteristics of its unique terroir (the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate).

We did a Riesling staff training last week and I learned SO much! It was fascinating listening to our winemaker talk about the different techniques that went into the wines that he made. It was also very interesting to try wines from all over the world and taste the vast differences between them. Flavor profiles were all across the board, from petrol and ripe fruit to spicy and earthy.

Fun Fact:

Our winemaker, Bryan Ulbrich, was voted as one of the Top 100 Most Influential U.S. Winemakers by IntoWine.com, which is a website that offers expert wine recommendations, wine and food pairings and other industry-specific information from around the world.

What makes Rieslings taste different from each other?

The fact that we have five different Rieslings on our tasting menu, and that every other winery around also has at least one on their menu, and that they ALL taste different from the next, is (in my opinion) the coolest thing about this grape. Not only that, but Michigan Rieslings will taste completely different than Rieslings from California, Washington, Australia, Germany... you get the idea.

Every growing region has its own style and taste due to many localized factors such as: the climate, terroir, micro-climates of the vineyard, farming methods, cultural tastes and of course, the techniques of the individual winemakers. Even vineyards a few miles apart can have striking differences in style.

BHV Rieslings

Block II:

The 2016 Block II was the highest rated wine in a recent James Suckling report, at 93 points. This wine is very dry and really showcases what a single vineyard Riesling from our region can provide: acidity, minerality and spice. I love to serve Block II with buttery scallops or a sharp cheddar cheese.

Smokey Hollow:

2016 Smokey Hollow just took home Best of Class at the San Francisco Chronicle, which is the biggest wine competition for American wines. Hints of red apple and grapefruit on the nose while the palate mellows to suggest golden delicious apple and citrus zest. Smokey Hollow pairs perfectly with grilled salmon or lemon pepper chicken.

Medium Dry:

Hand-harvested and lovingly vinified, the grapes for our Medium Dry Riesling are sourced from some of the finest vineyards on Old Mission Peninsula. Each vineyard, with its own unique terroir, offers something a bit different – some yielding tropical notes, some bursting with bright stone fruit aromas, some supplying gorgeous minerality and complex floral and stone aromatics. All those beautiful berries combine to make benchmark Old Mission Riesling.

Medium Sweet:

I am so excited that this one is back in the tasting room!  The 2017 vintage was just released this past week! Our most prolific Riesling, the Medium Sweet strikes a stunning balance between mouth-watering acidity and soft sweetness. You’ll be amazed at the initial flood of sugar on your palate, but just a moment later, it is whisked off by quintessential Old Mission acidity. This wine will wow Riesling connoisseurs and convert the staunchest of dry wine drinkers! Our winemaker said “this is the best vintage yet!”

Langley Late Harvest:

Late harvest Rieslings are among the most beloved of sweet white wines. Our Langley Late Harvest is grown on a beautiful west-facing slope dipping down toward Bowers Harbor. Not harvested until Nov. 1st, 2016, these grapes absorbed all those beautiful, sunny Northern Michigan afternoons and evenings and translated it into an ethereal, sun-dappled dessert-style wine. Novice drinkers will be drawn in by the smooth, sweet fruit-forward character, while aficionados will appreciate the fine balance of sugar and acidity, as well as this wine’s lovely age-ability.

The Riesling wines in this blog are listed (and pictured) in tasting order, dry to sweet:

  • Block II: .3% residual sugar
  • Smokey Hollow: 1% residual sugar
  • Medium Dry: 1.5% residual sugar
  • Medium Sweet: 2.5% residual sugar 
  • Langley Late Harvest: 5.1% residual sugar
Drink Riesling from 1 to 100

There are even more reasons to love a Riesling. Because of its strong acid structure, Rieslings can age much longer than most other wines, white or red. Some of the best Rieslings can still be amazing after 100 years! That is longer than most people live! As the wine matures, the taste will drastically change. Young Rieslings are fruit-forward, very bright and fresh-tasting, but those characteristics soften and mellow after they’ve been bottled for 2-3 years. Then there can be a muted period for up to 10 years (the wine will still taste pleasant) before they gain even more complexity and depth. They become drier to the taste and develop a stronger expression of that inherent minerality, along with a unique petrol character.

Going forward, I’ll be thinking of Riesling as the diamond of grapes. It is so multi-faceted! At its simplest, Riesling is an easily accessible wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with food. But tasting a great Riesling can be extremely rewarding, both from a sensory and an intellectual perspective.

Time Posted: Feb 15, 2018 at 11:28 AM
Alaina Dodds
 
December 19, 2017 | Alaina Dodds

Top 10 Gifting Ideas

1. Snowshoe Wine & Brew Tour

This is one of the most fun things to do in the winter. Who doesn’t like snowshoeing through the beautiful vineyards and wine tasting with a group of friends or as a fun day date? This tour starts at Jolly Pumpkin where the Brew Bus will pick you up and drop you off at Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery. From there you will snowshoe a marked trail to Bowers Harbor Vineyards, and then follow the interpretive trail back to Jolly Pumpkin. Enjoy 5 tastes and glass specials at each spot!

2. Spirit Cider Society Membership

Our brand new Spirit Cider Society is here! 

Join in December for only $125!
*Starting January 1st, $150 one-time joining fee

Membership Includes: 

  • Stainless Steel Growler
  • First Growler Fill Free
  • Spirit Cider Hat
  • Spirit Cider Decal Sticker
  • Pint Glass to Take Home
  • First Access to Newly Released Cider
  • 15% Off All Spirit Cider & Spirit Cider Merchandise
  • Free Birthday Pint
  • Special Activities & Events for Cider Club Members
3. Gift Basket

Delight your family and friends with a special gift basket created just for them! We've curated a few of our favorite gifts inside the basket for them to enjoy. A gift basket is a unique wedding, holiday or housewarming gift! We have a few different options available, just click on Gift Basket above to check them out! 

4. New Year's Eve Sparkling Wine 

Our Brut Rosé came out on top in a recent poll as to what people would prefer to get under their tree at Christmas and we think it’s a wonderful gift to give or get all year long. There’s just something about bubbles that screams “Celebrate!”

5. Gift Card

Gift cards are the perfect gift for someone who has everything! They can be used on wine and merchandise both. We have two different gift cards to serve every gifting need.

6. Cork Cage

There are some people who don’t think saving evidence of how many bottles of wine you drink is cool…but we aren’t one of them. We have a wide variety of decorative cork cages that you can use to save the corks from your favorite wines and remember the memories for years to come.

7. Wine Club Membership

Our wine club membership is amazing. It is one of the few wine club memberships that is customizable to your liking! We pick our favorites each quarter but if you’d rather have something different, then we will switch them out! We have three different clubs to choose from and offer a ton of fun in the form of wine club dinners and tasting room perks.

8. Holiday Date Night Wine Dinner

Everyone can use a date night, right? Wow your special someone with a special night, just for the two of you. Click on the link above to view the menu, it is sure to impress!

9. Mix & Match Case of Wine

There are few things I’d rather get as a gift than a case of wine….I mean WHO wouldn’t want that? Our mix & match options gives you the chance to choose your favorites, their favorites, some new ones AND a cider or two. All orders of a case of wine automatically get 15% off!

10. Dog Bandana

Because your pooch deserves it. 


Enjoy!

 

Time Posted: Dec 19, 2017 at 8:05 AM
Alaina Dodds
 
October 4, 2017 | Alaina Dodds

Through the Vines and Behind the Scenes: Part Two

Last Wednesday, Wine Specialist Tom took our tasting room staff on a brix tour. We were able to walk around the vineyards and test the brix levels in the fruit, and also learn about pH levels and acid content. It was AMAZING learning about how much goes into the testing and preparation of the vines and grapes (AKA berries). The timing of harvest is key and thus testing the berries on key metrics is vital: sugar, acid, pH and phenolics, the latter having few metrics. On top of everything that needs to be measured, all grape varietals need to be picked at different times and each have their own ripening schedule.

Bowers Harbor Vineyards Staff Brix Tour

Three Things to Measure to Test Ripeness of Grapes

1) Brix

Measuring the levels of brix in a berry is how you figure out the sugar content. The sugar level itself is measured with a refractometer. The juice is placed on the refractometer lens and light travels through the juice to refract on a degree scale. The thicker the juice the more it bends the light and the higher the brix that registers on the scale.

2) Acid content

Organic acids are responsible for the various levels of bitter tastes in the wine and have influence on the wine’s stability, color and pH. It is perhaps the most critical of the measured components. Don't forget...wine is an acidic beverage after all. 

3) Level of pH

pH is the measure of a balance of active acidity in the juice and wine, so acid and pH are directly related. Generally white grapes are harvested at pH level of 3.1 – 3.3 and red grapes at 3.3 – 3.5. A pH meter is used to measure pH. Before this is done the grower and the winemaker can taste the berry and get a feel for the sugar and pH ripeness. 

Bowers Harbor Vineyards Staff Testing Grapes Before Harvest

In addition to using the technical tools to measure the ripeness, you should also be tasting the fruit along the way.

Here are some things to look/taste for:

  • Soft berries - Berries dehydrate slightly, and the texture of the pulp softens when grapes ripen.
  • Brown seeds - The color of grape seeds changes from green to brown as the berries ripen. In most varieties, the pointed ends of the seeds (the “beaks”) are the last part to turn brown.
  • A clean pedicel - fully ripe grapes can be pulled off the berry easily and with little or no pulp attached

All in all we had a lot of fun as a group testing the brix levels and learning about each varietal and what to do look for. Interested to learn more about this topic yourself? We offer private and group vineyard tours! Click here to learn more about what we offer and to sign up for one, they are a blast!

Hope you enjoyed this edition of Through the Vines and Behind the Scenes! If you missed Part One, you can catch up here and stay tuned for Part Three!

Time Posted: Oct 4, 2017 at 11:53 AM
Alaina Dodds
 
September 26, 2017 | Alaina Dodds

Our Four Favorite Words: Six New Red Wines

Bowers Harbor Vineyards released five new red wines

2016 Claret, Wind Whistle

  • 293
  • 13% alc
  • Our Claret is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot grown in the Wind Whistle Vineyard. Wind Whistle Vineyard is situated less than a mile from Lake Michigan and boasts sandy soil and all day sun exposure. In addition to growing in the ideal location, these vines are meticulously manicured, hand hedged, leaf picked and hand harvested.
  • These sun ripened grapes produce flavors of black cherries and red raspberries. By aging our Claret in French Oak barrels, we enhance the natural spices of cinnamon and black pepper, creating balance and complexity. 

Shop Here

 

2016 Shiraz, JBS Reserve

  • 275 cases
  • 13 % alc
  • Our Shiraz is dedicated to the founder of Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Jack B. Stegenga, who first produced a Shiraz in 1992. Over two decades later his son, Spencer, with the same thirst for life and great wine, decided to produce our Shiraz once again. Jack had a passion for life, enjoying each and every moment. Family, friends and serving the community were of great importance to him. He was full of life and love for all people. He would want you to enjoy this wine with good food and great friends.
  • Dried cranberry, with hints toasted cedar (and I think smells like bacon 😊).

Shop Here

 

2016 Proprietors’ Reserve

  • 548 cases
  • 13% alc
  • Linda and Spencer Stegenga proudly bring you their Proprietors’ Reserve. This dynamic mother and son team have labored side by side, transforming what was a horse farm and simple stable into a thriving vineyard and tasting room. Twenty-six years of family history and “forced family fun,” has evolved into great passion to produce fine wine and  also to be stewards of the land.
  • Proprietors’ Reserve is a blend of Merlot and Syrah. Merlot offers its soft, lush, black cherry and plum nuances, while the bolder Syrah lends notes of blackberry, clove and tobacco.

Shop Here

 

2014 JT Red

  • 110 cases
  • 12% alc
  • Full bodied red blend of Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. (Same red as Maggie)

Shop Here

 

2016 Pinot Noir, Wind Whistle

(Available in our Tasting Room and Online Store very soon. Stay tuned!)

  • 133
  • 12% alc
  • Wind Whistle Vineyard is situated less than a mile from Lake Michigan and boasts sandy soil and all day sun exposure. Our Pinot Noir grapes are clones from the Dijon Region in France and flourish in our cooler climate. In addition to growing in the ideal location, these vines are meticulously manicured, hand hedged, leaf picked and hand harvested.
  • Enjoy the bright cherry and raspberry flavors balanced by toasted caramel contributed from our high quality French Oak barrels. 

 

2016 Pinot Noir, Nicholas 

(Available in our Tasting Room and Online Store very soon. Stay tuned!)

  • 245
  • 12% alc
  • Dedicated to his brother Nicholas, our grower and friend Chris Fifarek planted these vines with love. Our proprietary clone of Pinot Noir originated from the Old World and thrives in ideal growing conditions in our cool climate region on the 45th parallel. The Nicholas Vineyard, composed of clay and gravel, slopes towards the West. The long hours of sun exposure increases full physiological maturation of the Pinot Noir early in the season.
  • Aromas of blackberries and cherries emanate from our Pinot Noir, followed by a silky multi-flavored finish due to the distinction of our French Oak barrel selection.


 

Time Posted: Sep 26, 2017 at 7:47 AM
Never miss another winery activity or discount again!

Join our mailing list and stay up-to-date on all things BHV!

Enjoy access to latest wine releases, events, incredible promotions, and more!