Hawthorne Vineyards: A Secret Shared

by Marcy Harris

A secluded Michigan vineyard can’t hide its wine from the Roadhouse.

Courtesy of Hawthorne Vineyards

Discovering wine in Northern Michigan has been a passion of our beverage experts at the Roadhouse for years, and we have yet to be disappointed in our venture. Northern soil is rich with minerals from glacier deposits that impart unique flavor profiles in cool climate grapes. The extraordinary wines produced in Leelanau and Old Mission give depth to our list, and we are excited to bring the best of these Michigan wineries right here to Ann Arbor.

From wine what sudden friendship springs!
~ John Gay 

Hawthorne Vineyards is no exception. The wines from Hawthorne are vivacious expressions of one of the most beautiful and protected areas of Old Mission Peninsula in existence. Bruce and Cathleen Hawthorne purchased the 80-acre property in pursuit of their passion for agriculture and making wine that shares its many virtues.

Located on a high bluff overlooking West Grand Traverse, the winery is a world in and of itself, secluded from urban development. The property is surrounded by vineyard, water and woods only, protected by the Peninsula Township’s Purchase of Development Rights program.

While it makes for a serene and picturesque destination, Hawthorne’s intimate estate is perfect for small production, handcrafted wines. Of the 80 acres, Bruce and Cathleen have used 26 to plant their selection of grapes. By doing so, they can focus their efforts on nurturing the terroir to maximize the charming profiles of each wine. Their boutique tasting room offers an opportunity to savor and connect with a vibrant list, including Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Gewürtztraminer. While we love them all, the Gewürtztraminer is the selection we proudly offer on our list.

He who knows how to taste does not drink wine but savors secrets. 
~ Salvador Dali

Prevalent in Alsace, France, Germany, and Austria, Gewürtztraminer is an aromatic white wine that varies from sweet to off-dry. The grape itself was discovered in Northern Italy, in an area known as Alto Adige. It is believed that it might be a cross between the Italian Traminer grape and a Pinot varietal, resulting in a bright pink to light red fruit that boasts low to medium acidity and high sugars. The wine produced offers an intoxicating and complex bouquet of lychee fruit, flowers, honey, and delicate spice.

Hawthorne’s 2017 Gewürtztraminer exemplifies a terroir-driven approach, evoking the best characteristics of this Old World varietal. As you drink it, however, you will discover New World secrets unearthed from Michigan soil. Neither sweet nor subtle, this wine has shows lemon, tangerine and herbs on the nose, while citrus, pineapple, and dill intertwine on the palate, with a balanced, lasting finish. Enjoy it alongside our Creamery flight, or pair it with bright seafood dishes, and mussels.

Discover more of what we have to offer on our wine list.