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Vintage time on the Old Vine Trail; Two million tourists flock to resort area to sip wine and visit local markets
[ONT Edition]
Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
Author: Capos, Claudia
Date: Apr 14, 2007
Start Page: K.16
Section: Travel
Abstract (Document Summary)

Seasonal events, including Spring Sip & Savor (May 4-5), Leland Wine Festival (June 9), and Harvest Stompede (Sept. 14-16), turn demure wine tasting into boisterous celebrations of grapes and gourmet food. Although it would take a week or more to tour all the wineries in Michigan's northern wine country, there are a few highlights.

One is Chateau Chantal, a magnificent 26-hectare estate that crowns a vineyard-draped hill at the far end of Old Mission Peninsula, situated at the globe's 45th parallel - the ideal climate for growing varietal wine grapes. From the veranda of the Chateau, there is a panoramic view of the blue expanse of Grand Traverse Bay. Inside the Great Room, you can sample a dozen handcrafted wines, which were introduced to the area in 1983 when sweet and tart cherry orchards on the peninsula were replaced with grafted grape vines of the type grown in the Bordeaux region of France.

At Ciccone Vineyard and Winery, you'll have a chance to meet singer Madonna's stepmother Joan and her father Silvio "Tony" Ciccone, who established their family-run business on a hilltop overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay in 1995. Joan's effervescent personality adds to the enjoyment of tasting their award-winning Dolcetto and five Madonna label wines.

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