Monday, July 25, 2011

Michigan Winery Visit: The Fox Barn Winery

Summer Whites 027What's better than 20,000 screaming, sweaty fans at a music festival? How about a refreshing glass of Michigan wine and a scenic tour of the state's western shore?

We took a break from the recent Electric Forest festival in Rothbury, Michigan, to visit a couple of nearby wineries. The Fox Barn Agricultural Marketplace and Winery focuses on fruit wines which we normally don't seek out. But the day was beautiful and the winery was nearby, so we piled in the car to check it out.

The Fox Barn is a nice destination for any traveler in the Silver Lake area of Western Michigan. The winery is in Shelby, a couple minutes from the waters of Lake Michigan and the sand dunes of Silver Lake. We also stopped at a scenic lighthouse before quenching our thirst.

This winery is known best for -- of all things -- wine made from asparagus. Shelby has a big asparagus festival and I guess the drink of choice is asparagus wine. Unfortunately (or maybe not) they were sold out of asparagus vino during our visit.

Summer Whites 025The offerings are easy drinking, non-vintage wines that range from semi-dry to semi-sweet at a budget-minded price point. We started with the Harvest Red, a smokey blend of Marechal Foch, Chancellor and Rogen. We had to adjust our mind-set, since Green Dragon and I prefer the drier side of the spectrum. Our friend Willy was along and he has unabashed appreciation for the sweeter stuff.

Our next sample was Harvest Tart, a wine made from the essense of Montmorency Cherries. This was dry and tart.

During our unconventional visit the white wine came next with the Harvest White, a blend of Vidal Blanc, Seyval, Vignoles, Muscat and Cayuga. This was simple but satisfying.
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We closed out our tasting with the Harvest Rose'. Unfortunately, our server wasn't familiar with rose' and so kept referring to this as the Harvest Rose (as in the flower). By whatever name you call it, this was a light and refreshing Catawba wine with a hint of berries.

This is a fun wine tasting experience and the Fox Barn itself is a shopper's delight, with plenty of produce (including Michigan cherries) and unique gifts. It's fun for children as well as adults. Fox Barn also produces hard ciders.

Green Dragon and I enjoyed the wine tasting, but Willy loved it. He came away with a case of wine which he said would be just perfect for a hot day on the patio.

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