The NBS Summer Spot...
July 13, 2007 09:10 AM
... is profiled in today's New York Times:
The Sailing Ship Manitou on Grand Traverse Bay.
The article begins:
DRIVING along the fingerlike peninsulas of Grand Traverse Bay, it’s easy to see why this part of Michigan calls itself the cherry capital. In spring, dense orchards explode in creamy blossoms, their pink hues like Impressionist smudges against the brilliant blue of Lake Michigan; come July’s harvest time, the branches are thick with ruby fruit.
But sprouting from the rolling green hillsides between the orchards is evidence of yet another fruitful enterprise — the neat rows of vineyards, which are fast turning this area into a destination for oenophiles and casual wine tasters alike.
The article leans heavily on the region's booming wine business--which I heartily support, even though it seems so foreign to those of us who have been going for years.
To ease into your exploration, sidestep Traverse City at first and head due north on Old Mission, a 22-mile strip that’s narrow enough in stretches to let you drive up its spine while taking in bay views in both directions. It’s home to six wineries, soon to be seven, including the Chateau Grand Traverse and Chateau Chantal, both of which have guest houses with rooms overlooking the vineyards. All offer daily tastings of their rieslings and pinot noirs and, naturally, some version or other of a cloying cherry port.
They even talk about one of my favorite spots:
The peninsula exudes a breezy country vibe, felt on quiet residential streets and in the stuck-in-time Old Mission General Store — opened in a wigwam in 1839 as the first trading post between Detroit and Mackinac Island. It’s run now by Jim Richards, a former actor from Detroit who inherited a family cherry orchard and purchased the store nine years ago.
“I thought it would be a noble cause to preserve this store,” said Mr. Richards, his days onstage and in soap operas still evident in his booming voice and jaunty derby (it’s a store rule that all the male workers wear period hats, a homage to those in the first photo of the store, in 1863, which is framed and hanging on the wall). There are plenty of other leftovers — creaky wood floors and big wooden barrels of peanuts, an antique Victrola and a heavy, ancient telephone whose receiver Mr. Richards picks up when it ding-a-lings — plus modern additions like store-made cherry salsa, steaming cups of chai and fat Italian sandwiches.
And they run a picture of the Old Mission lighthouse:
Ahhhhhh. Just a few more weeks.