Winery Profile: 45 North Vineyard & Winery

Greetings, fellow wine lovers, and welcome back to the Ultra Wine Racks & Cellars blog.

On today’s blogging agenda, it’s another Winery Profile. We’ve showcased wineries from California and from Oregon, but now we’re going to move even farther afield: Michigan. Ultra Wine Racks is proud to present the 45 North Vineyard & Winery of the Leelanau Peninsula. With its rustic barn-like tasting room and 20 distinct wines, ciders, and other offerings, the 45 North Vineyard has something for everyone.

45 North Vineyard & Winery

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The 45 North Vineyard is located on Michigan’s famous Leelanau Peninsula. The name comes from the 45th parallel. The 100-acre vineyard sits directly upon this line of latitude, which also passes through several other famous winemaking regions, such as Oregon, Piedmont in Italy, and the Rhône Valley in France. Steve and Lori Grossnickle founded the winery in 2006. Steve, a former ophthalmologist, and his wife Lori had owned a cottage on a nearby lake since the early 1980s. Over the years they grew to love the peninsula and the burgeoning wine scene there, and purchased a hundred-acre farm. This farm then became 45 North Vineyard. Today the Grossnickles farm 35 acres of the estate with ten varietals. All grapes are crushed, aged, bottle, and labeled on-site. 45 North has produced more than 109 different wines since its founding and has garnered 72 prestigious awards.

Showcasing Michigan Wines

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The sign out in front of 45 North says “Wine on the Line,” and this vineyard and winery stands shoulder-to-shoulder with other prestigious winemaking regions on the 45th parallel north. The winery is famous for its white wines, especially riesling and unoaked chardonnay. But 45 North has a host of different creations and varietals: marsanne, chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, lemberger, cabernet franc, merlot, and pinot noir. There are also dessert wines and ciders, some of which are barrel-aged and/or hopped. The tasting room is located in a refurbished barn, which is equipped with a fireplace for wintertime. The Grossnickles have dedicated their farm and their viticultural practices to conservation and sustainability to preserve the beauty of the Leelanau Peninsula.

Michigan Terroir

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The 45 North winery is located on Michigan’s scenic Leelanau Peninsula, in the northwestern part of the Lower Peninsula, jutting into Lake Michigan. Leelanau County, which comprises the entire peninsula, is home to many of Michigan’s most famous and fruitful wineries. Michigan as a whole is quite cold for a winegrowing region. But the proximity of Lake Michigan to the Leelanau AVA helps to mitigate this. Peninsular soil is mostly glacial in composition, with layers of sand, loam, and clay on top of limestone and granite. Frost may occur in roughly eight months out of a given year. Yet the Leelanau Peninsula is a thriving winegrowing region. It has many delicious wines to offer, especially rieslings and chardonnays.

If you’ve been curious about Michigan wineries and Michigan wines, 45 North Vineyard & Winery in Lake Leelanau should be your destination. Its diverse array of wines, dessert wines, and ciders, plus its scenic setting and rustic tasting room, make it a perfect choice for your next winery tour. Follow our blog for more winery tour recommendations (as well as wine and food pairings), plus vital information about wine storage. And please stop by our website for the latest in innovative and modern wine racking solutions.


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