A Little More Wine, Please.

Perhaps there is nothing that I love more than holding a huge, over-indulgent, red wine glass in my hand and watching the dreamy liquid inside swirl, twirl and dance inside the glass as I pretend to know what I’m doing with it. My favorite wino thing to say is “Oh, it has nice legs.”  as I hold it up to the light. I still don’t really know what this means, but they say it in movies. So it must mean something great. (Have you seen Sideways?)

My first wine tasting experience occurred in the Tri-Cities in the Southeast part of Washington State. Luckily I was surrounded by some of the greatest people I’ve ever met during my career as a product sales trainer in the indoor tanning industry and no one judged my lack of knowledge, experience and COMPLETE naivety to what was going on. I was simply adopted and introduced to a whole new world. (That story is for a different day…different blog post.) 😉 And I must say…I was hooked from that moment on. The hard part is, it’s difficult to learn when you’re wine tasting. Sure, you learn lots at your first stop…but then as you keep going and keep tasting, you tend to forget everything you learned in the beginning and your laughter, inappropriateness, tendency to giggle when you shouldn’t, and your immediate LOVE for everything you taste goes up.

Wine tasting has become a treat for me when I’m on vacation, traveling for work or on the West Coast.

So you can imagine when I drove through Grand Haven, MI in April I was excited to see a brand new building right as you enter town. I asked my mom…what’s that gorgeous new building on the north side of town? What she said next was music to my ears….”That’s a new winery in town…I heard it’s quite good.” YAAAYYY!! With friends and family traveling to Grand Haven this June for our wedding, I’m more than happy to introduce them to a new winery in town for something fun, unique and exciting to do.

(Thank you Lemon Creek Winery, for supplying this photo!)

I noticed Lemon Creek Winery right away because of the gorgeous architecture in their building. (I’m ashamed to say that I don’t have a photo to post. The weather was throwing snow and sleet when I left and my camera had about all it could take. Next time!) My eye is always looking for unique photo ops, and this one immediately caught my attention. I stopped in to say hello, because I was shooting Allison and Ryan’s engagement photos later that day and knew we would be dealing with inclement weather. I wondered if they’d mind if we stopped inside for a few photos. To my delight, they were happy to accommodate us. I love to meet happy business owners. 🙂

Below is a brief history of the Lemon Creek Winery taken from their website:

“Lemon Creek is a name with 150 years of grape and fruit growing experience. The Lemon Family first came to Berrien County in 1834 and established its present farm on Lemon Creek Road in 1855. Benjamin Lemon had a saw mill on a creek near Berrien Springs, MI, the creek thus became known as “Lemon’s Creek”. Time went by and the old dirt road that ran parallel to the creek was eventually named Lemon Creek Road.

With the rolling clay loam hills and the moderating effect of Lake Michigan, Lemon Creek Fruit Farm has grown some of the best grapes in Michigan. Robert Lemon, a pioneer in the wine grape growing Industry, and his wife Helen, teamed with their sons in 1984 to establish Lemon Creek Winery. From this came the first commercial planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in the state. The winery continues to distinguish themselves with their most recent success, a Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Wine, to compliment their diversified wine selection. The wine making tradition continues with the help of the newest generation.

The Lemon family farms approximately 150 acres of wine grapes and about 60 acres of a variety of fruits. Pre-picked and U-Pick are available. The Winery also hosts a variety of celebrations annually along with reserved barrel tastings, home wine makers, shipping, and much more…”

The Grand Haven Tasting Room is a photographers dream! Full of shapes, texture and color. I was in-love! After I shot photos of Allison and Ryan, we noticed a private party was setting up. Lemon Creek told me that they rent out their tasting room for parties! At a GREAT price!! Contact winery@lemoncreekwinery.com for more info. The ladies were setting up for a birthday party and had beautiful spring bouquets out. I took this opportunity to stage a few photos of their wine bottles with the fresh spring flowers. Check out a few of their featured local wines.

The Kerner is a German varietal white wine grape estate grown, like all of their grapes. This vintage ’08, has a delicate floral aroma. It is smokey and spicy as well as crisp.  It received the Indy International Bronze, and the Michigan State Silver. And doesn’t it look fabulous next to those dazzling tulips. (I felt like I was at a wine fashion show.)
A personal favorite of mine: The Pinot Grigio! (And we all know that Pinot runs through the veins of our favorite Housewife Ramona from TRHONYC on Bravo) The ’08 Pinot Grigio is soft and smooth with an apple and pear nose that gives way to ripe tree fruit flavors. Good with summer salads or chicken. It received the Michigan State Bronze award.
A semi-sweet, medium bodied red wine with a slightly sweet berry flavor, similar to an “Italian Sangria”. Best served chilled. With friends.

If you live in Grand Haven and follow my blog (bless you.) and haven’t been to Lemon Creek Winery…get there!! They are amazing! It was beyond affordable. And you get to keep your tasting glass to bring back for FREE future tastings. My favorite part about the atmosphere inside Lemon Creek was how relaxed and laid back they were. It wasn’t pretentious. It wasn’t snobby. They were fun! They wanted to share their love of wine and if you happen to pick up a thing or two – Meritage is prounounced like Heritage! – then fabulous! If you just get to taste great wine…then they are a-ok with that too.

Lemon Creek Winery, thank you thank you for accommodating my happy couple and myself that cold yucky day. And introducing us to your beautiful winery and wonderful tasting room. I look forward to including you on my Wedding Weekend Itinerary as a “fun spot to hit”. Have a FANTASTIC summer in Grand Haven! I look forward many more tastings!
May 16, 2011 - 9:43 pm

Allison - These are AMAZING and secretly get me super excited for the rest of our photos!!!! Thanks again for the wine, it was sooooo delicious!!! 🙂

May 23, 2011 - 6:40 pm

Lisa Paulus - Hi Meagan,

Thank you so much for the sharing your beautiful photos from that rainy day! Your writing abilities are also right there with your photography talents!
We hope to see you again this summer!