Last week we visited Northern Michigan and took a trip to the Ciccone Vineyard. The vineyard is owned by Madonna’s father. Yes, the one and only Madonna. The vineyard was planted in 1996, and is situated on the Leelanau Peninsula. Suttons Bay is about 15 miles from Traverse City. Ciccone has 14 acres of grape vineyards, and produces award-winning estate wines.
Michigan is an ideal location for the production of grapes. With Lake Michigan to the west, and the West Grand Traverse Bay to the east, the moderate climate is perfect for growing fruit. The hills on the peninsula allow for the cool breezes to circulate over the land. According to their website, they note that the lake effect delays the blossoms to appear on the vines, as well as the first frost from damaging the blossoms. The vineyard is planted with 14 acres of vines.
They offer wine tastings for five dollars which includes the glass, which can be brought back for the lifetime of the glass. There is also a restored turn of the century barn which adds to the beautiful vista for many scheduled events.
Ciccone offers both red and white wines, along with some specialty wines. We purchased Eve 2014. Ciccone “Eve” is a nice fruit wine made with Michigan Apples (60% Northern Spy, 20% Ida Red, 20% Golden Delicious). I was told that it is a little more light-bodied than 2013, and the alcohol content is slightly lower to balance it out. I am looking forward to serving it this fall with a cheese plate.
Although there was no sign of Madonna, we had a wonderful visit.