FREMONT, INDIANA – The long July 4th weekend provided a great opportunity to combine an outing to Pokagon State Park in Indiana with a visit to Satek Winery. Satek is located about an hour west of Toledo just off the Ohio Turnpike near Angola.
The winery, owned by Larry and Pat Satek (rhymes with “attic”), was bustling when we dropped in on Monday, July 5th after enjoying the beach at Pokagon. The winery has been celebrating its ninth anniversary.
We were greeted by Christina Koher, the winery’s marketing director. Chrissie has been keeping us updated on all the news and activities going on at Satek.
The winery has a small tasting room with an attractive bar near the main entrance and then a large tasting area in the back which is lined with barrels and tanks for fermentation. It makes an unique setting for a tasting. You can say that no expense was spared with the decorating since each oak barrel cost more than $1,000 – and that’s not including the wine.
Larry has a background as a research scientist and amateur winemaker. The vineyard was established on the north end of Lake James on land that belonged to Pam’s great grandfather, Fred Kreibaum. The Kreibaum Bay moniker is attached to several of the Satek wines in his honor.
The winery opened in 2001 with all grapes for the wine coming from the Satek Lake James vineyard. Over the last nine years production has grown to the point where about 80 percent of the grapes now come from other sources, although most is from Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania to keep its wines as close to its roots as possible.
Larry is very personable and was happy to discuss the finer points of winemaking as we sampled the Satek lineup. We began with the dry whites including the 2007 Vidal Blanc and the 2008 Seyval Blanc. The Vidal has a pronounced green apple flavor and the Seyval has a pleasant crispness.
The 2007 Kreibaum Bay Dry Riesling was dry and light with a refreshing nuttiness on the finish. We then moved into the red wines.
The 2007 Pinot Noir is a very light Burgundian style of Pinot. It’s delicate and fruity, but not our favorite style.
We’re big Chambourcin fans and were pleased to see a 2008 on the Satek tasting list. This is very enjoyable dry red with abundant raspberry and a note of pepper. We bought a bottle of this.
The 2007 Old Vine Red Zinfandel is made with 48-year-old vines and has a complex flavor and beautiful, dark bouquet.
Another off-beat grape that we really enjoy is Marechal Foch. This is a grape that flourishes in the Great Lakes area, but is scarce in our country’s top wine producing states. Satek’s 2008 vintage offers smoky cherry and minerality. This was another purchase.
The very best wine of our visit hasn’t been released yet – but we are counting the days. Satek offers “Pam’s Perfect Little Red Wine, a semi-dry red blend. Larry will counter with Larry’s Luscious Red, a Meritage blend of Corot Noir, Noiret and Chambourcin. Talk about a unique blend! This has an inky purple color and a delicious, silky texture. The flavor is fruity and rich.
We were pleased to get a taste of the Meritage from an unlabeled bottle. The name is subject to change, but whatever it is called, you can count us in for a bottle or two.
Think Indiana is just basketball? Think again and take the short drive to Satek Winery.