My husband and I have an annual tradition. We got married in the fall because we both love this season, and our anniversary date is almost always a visit to a beautiful vineyard in Southwest Michigan. We’ve gone so many times (we’ve been married twelve years…) that we know some of the tour guides; yet we learn something new every single time.
This year, my new wine lesson was about aging wine. If you want to know how many years to let wine age before you open it; buy several bottles. You’ll have to sacrifice one to the cause (but don’t worry, you still get to drink it). Open wine ages the equivalent of one year for closed wine every twenty four hours. What that means is that once you open a bottle of wine, it ‘ages’ a year every 24 hours.
So open a bottle, and have a glass. Wait a day and have another, and so on. See which of those days tastes the best to you. If the third day tastes the best – let the wine age 3 years. If the second day tastes the best to you – let it age two years and so forth.
I like having wine knowledge like that. I couldn’t care less about impressing people with my wine identification skills – but the more I know about how to best enjoy wine, the happier I am.
The tour is like a wagon ride for grown ups. They have added covers on the wagons in the past couple of years which I suppose is nice for the weather, but I preferred the open wagons. The tours are just under two hours and in that time, you will have the opportunity to sample several different wines. If you like one, tell your wagon-mates to hand it over when everyone has had their taste and you’ll probably have the opportunity to sample it twice
There are public tours and private tours, but you have to sign up in JULY to get a seat on either kind of fall tour. You can also visit the tasting room and take a tour of the cellar, but the tours are the start of Fenn Valley. I mean; after the wines of course. They are my favorite Michigan wines by far, and some of my favorite wines period.
The vineyard is absolutely gorgeous and more than one person has mentioned that this is the best tour – anywhere – including Napa Valley. I have no frame of reference and no plans to visit California any time soon so I’ll have to take their word for it.