Grapes like to grow where people like to live. For about a century, folks have headed north from Cincinnati, St Louis, Indianapolis and Chicago to escape the Mississippi Valley heat. Their destination was Northern Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula. The Peninsula juts out deep into Grand Traverse Bay splitting the bay in two and creating one of the country's most unique micro-climates for long lazy summerdays, campfire nights and rich, bold juicy grapes. The breezes from Lake Michigan provide cool drafts in the summer and protection against the cold of harsh winters. 40 years ago, Eddie O'Keefe's father scouted the perfect rolling hills for a vineyard: plenty of water, summer breezes, long sun exposure and of course, magnificent vistas of the bays and beach below -- both for the grapes and the visitors. "It's more than just a business; it's a commitment and lifestyle that we proudly live," the younger O'Keefe says.
Today there are lots of wineries on Old Mission, perched above the summer cottages on the beach, but Chateau Grand Traverse stands out. It still grows the best grapes and their time honored traditions make world-class wines. "It's quite humbling to recognize that our combined efforts, decisions, and personalities are reflected in each hand-crafted bottle we produce…yes, it's personal", Eddie says. So when Jeff, Brownwood Farms owner and Master Taste Creator, went searching for a Riesling Wine to create Brownwood Farms unique Apple Riesling Salsa, the task was relatively easy: call the best winemaker, with the best grapes in the land. Jeff still looks forward to his trip every month or so to pick up wine from the Chateau. Whether it's the drive out Old Mission Peninsula, the beautiful views or maybe the glass he shares with Eddie before he leaves, there is no question that Chateau Grand Traverse is a magical place. Whether it is enjoyed at a party, in front of the TV, or slathered on your favorite Tacos, you too can taste the tradition of excellence that the O'Keefe's put into every bottle of wine when you open a jar of Brownwood Farms Apple Riesling Salsa.