Old Shore Vineyards…wow!

Old Shore Vineyards is the the labor of love of Dannielle and David Maki. Located in Buchanan Michigan, near the southwest corner of the state, this little gem produces only premium single-estate grown Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir wines. With more than 100 years of agricultural history, Old Shore crafts very limited production wines at a very high level.
Old Shore has five vineyards, two for Pinot Gris and three for Pinot Noir.  The Turkey Nest Vineyard is named after the turkey nests found in the vines and produces Pinot Gris. The Barnyard Vineyard also produces Pinot Gris and is near the Old Shore barn that is more than a century old.  The Sofia Vineyard is situated at the highest point of the 65 acre estate and is visited daily by the “vineyard dog” Sofia.  It produces Pinot Noir.  The Tree Line East Vineyard is the smallest vineyard situated east of an historic tree line that guards the vines from westerly winds.  The Tree Line West Vineyard is located to the west of the tree line and is terraced to allow planting on steep hillsides.  Both the tree line vineyards produce Pinot Noir.
Owners David and Dannielle Maki take a “hands on” approach to the operation of their historic vineyard.   Their motto is: “Be inspired. Go explore.” They truly have a passion for wine and making sure that you, as the customer, truly enjoy their wine, either alone or, better yet, shared among friends.  The winemaker at Old Shore Vineyards is Cornel Olivier—  yes, one of the “2Lads” from Traverse City. Together the Makis and Cornel have come together to produce some truly outstanding wine!
I ordered three of Old Shore’s current offerings: the 2010 OSV ‘Turkey Nest’ Pinot Gris; the 2010 OSV ‘Sofia’ Rose of Pinot Noir; and the 2009 ‘Tree Line’ Pinot Noir.  In true OSV fashion, I also decided to “be inspired” and invite some friends and family to “come explore” these wines last Friday.  Here is what we found:

‘Turkey Nest’ Pinot Gris


In the glass, the Pinot Gris has a light golden color.  The nose holds wonderful aromas of pears and grapefruit.  My friend Marshall hit this one on the head when he described the palate as grapefruit initially at the front of your palate and then, from mid-palate to the finish, a nice, rich melon flavor that completely coats your mouth.  I am generally not a Pinot Gris fan, but this one is outstanding!

‘Sofia’ Rose of Pinot Noir


The color on this Rose is a very “dark” red—almost like a red wine (this is not your “pink” Rose from Provence!).  On the nose, aromas of cherries, strawberry and a hint of vanilla that follow through wonderfully to the palate. Silky in texture with a wonderful finish, the Rose is unlike any other that we had tried before— one worth exploring for sure!

Tree Line’ Pinot Noir


With an “oh wow” factor, this was my favorite of the evening!  In the glass, this looks like a Pinot in that I can see my fingers through it.  On the nose. . . oh my god. . . barnyard for days. . . and this is a good thing!  Similar to many Red Burgundies, this OSV Pinot smells of dirt and hay and well. . . barnyard.  The palate is a host of complex flavors of dark cherry, smoke, dirt, caramel with a hint of black pepper.  Simply put, this Pinot is outstanding. . .
All three of these wines come from a very limited production—only 100 cases each.  You can order the Old Shore Vineyard Wines through the website and can find them at a limited number of local stores and restaurants including: in Ann Arbor, The Produce Station, Vinology and the West End Grill; in New Buffalo, the Bentwood Tavern; and in Sawyer, Fitzgerald’s and Soe Cafe.
Many of you, I would guess, have not heard of Old Shore Vineyards. I hope that you will be inspired by this post and go explore (and buy) some of their wines and try for yourselves!
Cheers and Happy 4th of July!