White Pine Winery
Southwest Michigan Winery and tasting room
November 4, 2023
Hello and Happy Holidays from your friends at White Pine! The holidays are here and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labors with our friends and family.
Harvest is behind us but the cellar is still very busy. The new white wines have been racked from fermentation tanks to help them clear and stabilize for bottling in spring. Our reserve reds will be barreled – down soon so they can begin the wonderful evolution (elevage in French) from coarse young wines to graceful, elegant wines that will reward years of aging.
The 2023 vintage was the fourth in a string of great vintages. If you recall, we had a dry spring with not much rain until June. Then rain came at regular intervals through August. September was warm and dry and we even had a week of 70’s and 80’s in October, perfect to finish ripening the grapes.
With later ripening the fruit ripened under perfect, cool conditions with warm, sunny days, and cool, crisp autumn nights in late September through early October. The resulting fruit and wine’s are already showing signs of greatness and we can’t wait to share them with you!
Just in time for the holidays, we have several new releases to share with you and we know you will love them as much as we do!
- 2020 Merlot Reserve: 2020 was a difficult year in many ways but it happened to be a spectacular vintage in southwest Michigan. Our 2020 reds are among the best to emerge from our vineyards and cellar since we opened our doors in 2010. Dark cherry and blueberry aromas and flavors mingle with warm, allspice, clove, vanilla and mocha. The palate is rich and full bodied with a satisfying, long finish. You will want to get some of this for your cellar while you can.
- 2020 Cabernet franc Reserve: The wine is an instant classic with raspberry and cherry notes intertwined with vanilla, clove, allspice and a hint of sandalwood. This and the Merlot are huge hits with our customers so get them while they last!
- 2021 Cabernet franc Sophie’s Vineyard. We did not have a 2019 Sophie’s Vineyard Cab franc and the 2020 sold out quickly. Now the 2021 is showing signs of greatness! Ripe cherry, blackberry and plum flavors and aromas are lifted with hints of clove, sandalwood and allspice. The tannins are “sweet” like Pinot noir and the finish goes on and on. Grab some for yourself and your friends during the holidays.
- 2022 Dry Riesling: Classic apricot and Granny Smith apple aromas and flavors with a mouthwatering, grapefruit finish like a NZ Sauvignon blanc. This wine was barrel-fermented and aged on the yeast lees with batonage (stirring) each month through June. It is our new Dry Riesling style.
- 2022 Dry Traminette Reserve: The first vintage from our new Traminette vineyard, the fruit was ultra ripe leading to an Alsatian – style dry wine with 14.5% alcohol. Orange zest and honeysuckle blossom with hints of hazelnut make this unique wine special. Only 30 cases were produced so get it while you can.
The holidays are here and we have some great wines for you to share with your family and friends at meals, as gifts or just to enjoy a glass of great wine together. We always recommend our Reserve Riesling for Thanksgiving dinner. It pairs well with everything on the table and is easy to enjoy no matter your wine preference. It is only 11% alcohol with just a hint of sweetness to brighten the vibrant fruit flavors. If it’s a red wine you’re after we suggest our Merlot reserve or Cabernet franc reserve. Both are classic cool – climate reds that pair perfectly with many foods. Our wines also make great gifts!
Holiday Wine Special: 2021 Reserve Riesling – regular price $21.99, now $16.99 or buy 2 for $30! We want everyone to have a bottle on their holiday table.
Mulled Wine is here for the holidays! We offer it by the glass to go on weekends and holidays or, purchase Red Expression and our proprietary spice mix and recipe to make some at home.
St Joe has some great holiday traditions that you won’t want to miss:
Luminary Night and Window Wonderland: Friday, November 17th 5:30 – 8:00 PM
Light Up The Bluff: Friday, December 1nd – Light Up The Bluff at 6 PM
Reindog Parade: December 2nd at 3 PM
We are open Christmas Eve from noon to 4 PM and New Year’s Eve from noon to 4 PM.
White Pine is Hiring!
White Pine Winery is hiring for 2023! We are offering a position our tasting room. See below for details
Tasting Room Hospitality Position
White Pine Winery has openings for Hospitality Host / Hostess (HH) position at White Pine Winery’s tasting room in downtown St. Joseph, MI for summer through December 2023. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is interested in Michigan’s rapidly growing wine industry to be part of the action and receive training in wines and wine bar service. The position offers a fantastic opportunity to learn about wine from some of the region’s most experienced people and share that knowledge with customers from all walks of life. We are looking for someone who is energetic, enthusiastic and with a positive attitude who likes working with people and sharing the exciting story about White Pine wines. Wine knowledge is desired but not essential. We offer competitive wage and compensation package.
This position is part time and seasonal, running from April through December, with possibility for extension through winter. The position requires working weekends and holidays.
Description: The Hospitality Host (HH) position involves pouring wine samples for customers while discussing the wines and educating the customer. The HH position includes, but is not limited to the following responsibilities:
- Pour wine samples and discuss White Pine wines with guests,
- Open and close store,
- Restock wine and retail items,
- Clean up tasting bar,
- Work the cash register and cash out at the end of the day / shift
- Daily house-keeping tasks such as taking out trash, wash windows, clean employee restroom and general upkeep of the store including sweeping and vacuuming.
The HH is White Pine’s representative to our retail customers and is therefore responsible for selling White Pine wines with a positive attitude and gracious demeanor. The HH may be required to work at some wine events away from the tasting room.
Requirements include but not limited to:
- Must be 21 years of age.
- Wine knowledge is desirable but not required. Must be willing to learn more about wines in general and White Pine wines specifically. Some reading on own time away from the job is required during training.
Work on weekends and holidays required.
- Must be able to lift 40 lbs.
- Must be able to stand for extended periods.
- Must enjoy people and have a pleasant personality.
- Desired but not required to work at off-site events regionally.
White Pine Winery is an equal opportunity employer.
Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail Video
The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail commissioned this video from Wine + Words for our new campaign to tell the story of our World Class wine region.
The saying, “Wine is made in the vineyard”, is true. Grapevines produce grapes that are turned into wine. But there are so many factors determining whether the wine is average or excellent. Our wines are made in the vineyard with great attention to the smallest details.
Wine is an expression of the vines interacting with their environment. The weather in each vintage determines the quality of the vintage, the soil, slope, aspect and place on the planet determine the general conditions of an appellation and the wines.
We respect the land. We do not use synthetic fertilizer on our vineyards. We do use natural cover crops in row middles as they are in balance with the area’s microbes, insects and plants. Our vineyard management system uses best practices to produce the best, most flavorful and balanced fruit. We use sustainable practices to minimize the impact of the of our farming operation on the environment. By using cover crops and no synthetic fertilizer, vine growth is reduced. Leaves are smaller, shoots are less vigorous, and clusters of grapes are exposed to sunshine. This reduces disease on the grapes and allows them to ripen fully producing the balanced, flavorful wines.
Our vineyard site was chosen for it’s location near Lake Michigan. Great vineyard sites in cool climate regions like Michigan share certain characteristics: High relative elevation; gentle slope, southern aspect, well drained soils and proximity to a large body of water to moderated temperatures. Our vineyard site was chosen for all of the above factors enabling it to produce premium wine grapes.
Once the site was selected the choice of plant material, vine x row spacing and trellis type form the foundation for the vineyard that will produce wine for decades to come. We carefully studied the above factors and chose the best combination of Variety, rootstock, vine x row spacing and trellising system to produce the best wines possible. Our attention to detail has paid off with wines like our Sophie’s Vineyard Cabernet franc and Reserve Riesling.
There is great attention to detail during the growing season to balance the vine crop load and open the vine canopy, techniques used in the world’s greatest vineyards to produce the world’s best wines. It is labor intensive but the effort shows in every bottle we produce.
Our vineyard only produces a little over half of the fruit required to produce our award-winning wines. We only purchase fruit from growers who hold the same principles as we do at White Pine. That means we pay more for grapes because they receive all the care and attention to make great wines.
Simple is better. Ripe grapes make great wine. Basic principles of clean, sound winemaking bring out the best from our grapes, producing wines full of flavor, aroma, are well balanced and are great with food.
Our goal is to produce the very best possible wines from Southwest Michigan and the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation. That means we use expensive grapes and some expensive, time consuming processing techniques but they give the best results. While our wines cost more, we feel they offer great value given their overall quality and consistency.
Some of our wines are fermented and / or aged in oak barrels. Our research shows that French oak barrels produce the most subtle flavors to enhance our wines. They compliment the fruit without dominating flavor or aroma. French oak barrels cost twice what American oak barrels cost but we feel they are the only kind of barrel to use to produce the best wines.
Our overall philosophy is to use the best grape growing and wine making practices to make the best wines from the region. Our portfolio of wines is relatively small as we want to focus on those grape varieties that perform best in our climate and soils. Part of exploring the region’s potential means trying new things when the opportunity arises. This brought us Teroldego Reserve and soon, Pinot noir Reserve.
We are just beginning to see the impact of various soils in our region on the grapes and resulting wine. A great example is our Sophie’s Vineyard Cabernet franc. It grows in our heavier, clay loam soil and produces a wine perfumed with fruit aroma and bursting with fruit on the palate. The great wines of the Right Bank in Bordeaux are famous for growing on heavier soils. Our Riesling Reserve grown on our clay loam soil brings another example of the perfume and broad palate of flavors produced on our farm.
We are excited to continue exploring variety and soil interactions and impact on wines. Watch as we continue to produce wines from unique vineyard sites.
We hope you enjoy exploring our wines as much as we enjoy making them!
Dave Miller PhD
Owner / Winemaker
5 August, 2022
Purchase White Pine Wine at These Stores
As a Boutique Winery our production is small and most of our sales are through our tasting room and Wine Club. However, we our wines can be found in several stores regionally when it isn't convenient to stop by the winery. Below is a list of stores who carry our wines:
St Joe, MI: Liquor Cabinet, Liquor Locker
Sawyer, MI: Sawyer Garden Center
Bridgman, MI: Hardings
Richland, MI: Hardings
Grand Rapids, MI: Total Wine and More
Our wines are also served at the following restaurants:
Silver Beach Pizza
Bistro on the Boulevard