Official Press Release from PRESERVE Historic Sleeping Bear
July 29, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Pocklington (231)-334-6103, firstname.lastname@example.org
Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear is offering something new at the Port Oneida Fair this year. They’ll be hosting the Port Oneida Picnic – an outdoor chicken dinner –on Friday, August 12 from 5 – 7 pm, as a fitting way to end the first day of the two-day cultural fair.The Northport Community Band, and fiddler, Bob Sadler and Company will entertain while you eat under the tent at the Charles and Hattie Olsen Farm in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. A corn-on-the-cob eating contest and other activities will add to the family fun.
Tickets are $12 each and must be purchased by August 9th to guarantee a dinner. After the 9th there will be only very limited tickets. The menu includes a ½ Grilled Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Potato Salad, Roll and Butter and a beverage. For ticket information and purchase, go to www.phsb.org. The Olsen farm is located at 3164 W. Harbor Hwy (M-22) about 3 miles north of Glen Arbor and just west of Port Oneida Road. For further information please call 334-6103.
Earlier this week, Batali tweeted about the “brutal Traverse City traffic” on his way to Suttons Bay where he checked in to The Cherry Basket Farm Kitchen, Hansen’s Grocery Store and Martha’s Leelanau Table. He also checked in to Northport’s Shady Trails Camp. We think he had a scrumptious dinner with a view after he tweeted, “Supper on Lake Michigan!! I am the mayor of yumsberg!”
Mario Batali's Twitter Page
Batali is not shy about telling people where his is at any given time. His presence in Leelanau and the Grand Traverse area is helping to promote the area. Not only are his tweets and check-ins on Foursquare helping to promote the area, but this week the prestigious food magazine, Bon Appetit, posted a Blog about Batali’s love for the area in, How Mario Batali Escapes New York Summers.
In the article, Batali describes how he came to the Leelanau Peninsula only ten years ago and fell in love with the area. He came back year after year staying longer with each visit. He eventually bought a place on Lake Michigan where he spends the summers through Labor Day.
Mario Batali on the FoodNetwork.com as Malto Mario
No doubt that Batali loves the dunes, Lake Michigan and the stunning scenery of Leelanau, but there is also another draw to the area, food and drink. Batali says, “The food scene has really exploded in the region. There are farmers’ markets and hip-looking people farming and butchering. It’s very cool. Even in Northport, our town of less than 1000 people, there’s a great weekly farmers’ market in the summer…People are coming for gastronomic tourism.”
Wine is also a draw for Batali. Not long ago Batali felt that Leelanau wines were not very interesting, but now he says, “Wine has come around 1,000 percent in the past decade.”
Leelanau County is a farming community that grows some of the best fresh fruit and vegetables anywhere. Leelanau best known for its cherry production and more recently as a grape growing region for wine. One of the best loved features of Leelanau is the local farm stand and farmers markets that take place in small towns all over the peninsula. If you are a local resident you already know of the tasty treasures around every corner, but vacationers and visitors may not know that they can pick up fresh fruits and vegetbles all over the county. Plan you week to get the freshest of the harvest.
Farmers Market Schedule
Jun 21-Aug 30
Jun 18-Sep 10
May 14-Oct 22
Jun 19-Sep 4
Jun 23-Sep 1
Jun 17-Sep 16
Behind the Township Hall on Western Av
Next door to downtown post office
North Park at M-204 & M22 (water side)
Parking lot across from NJ’s Market downtown
Parking lot across from Blue Bird Restaurant
This is a great opportunity for you to get local produce and meet the farmers who grow it! Know where your food comes from! Visit the Leelanau Farmer’s Market Facebook page and become their fan!
By guest blogger Terry Sullivan of Wine Trail Traveler
Leelanau Cellars (Photo courtesy of Leelanau Peninsula Vintner's Assoc.)
There are a few things that one should do if planning to visit wineries on the Leelanau Peninsula. Although these suggestions may seem like common sense, many winery tasting room staff complain that visitors are unprepared for wine tasting.
Do not put on perfume or after-shave on the day of your visit. The smell will interfere with your ability to judge the aroma and taste of wines. It also interferes with other visitors’ experience in the tasting room. After brushing your teeth in the morning, rinse your mouth with water. You don’t want the first several wines you taste during the day to taste like toothpaste.
Winery tasting rooms have a certain air of sophistication. Leave stadium voices outside. Conversational tones are perfect for the tasting room. Do converse with people around you. Refrain from belittling someone for his or her likes and dislikes of wine.
Bellago Winery (Photo courtesy of Leelanau Peninsula Vintner's Assoc.)
You do not have to like the wines you taste. However, remember that just because you don’t like a wine doesn’t make the wine bad. People evolve on a continuum of likes and dislikes when it comes to wine. Unfortunately some will stall on the continuum and develop a palate for a particular style of wine such as a Napa palate. It becomes difficult to like anything that doesn’t fit their profile of what a wine should resemble. Try to keep open minded.
Consider taking a small notepad with you to tasting rooms and jot down points about different wines. When traveling to several tasting rooms, you’ll end up tasting many wines. Your notes will help you recall what you liked.
You do not have to drink all the wine in your glass. Most tasting counters have a dump bucket. Generally if you plan to spit your wine, ask for a small cup to spit into. If you do not want to try a sample just place your hand over your glass.
Shady Lane Winery (Photo courtesy of Leelanau Peninsula Vintner's Assoc.)
Wineries are not supposed to feed you. Don’t hog the crackers or nibbles that are sometimes placed on the tasting counter. Carry bottled water with you. You should try to drink as much water as wine while tasting.
With a few preparations you’ll enjoy a day of wine tasting.
Leelanau County has a gem: Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Apple Orchard. There are apple orchards and cider mills all over Michigan, but Kilcherman’s is different. Owners John and Phyllis Kilcherman grow 240 different types of apples, many are considered heirloom.
A heirloom apple, also called an antique apple, comes from apple varieties that originated in the 1600’s, 1700’s and 1800’s but are no longer available in most orchards. They are becoming almost “extinct” because they are no longer popular or marketed as well as more recent apple varieties such as the Gala (1934) or Honeycrisp (1991). When was the last time you purchased a Green Newton Pippin, a Winesap, or a Rambo? A Winesap was first produced in 1817 while the Newton Pippin dates back to the 1759. The Rambo came to the United States from France in the 1700’s, but its origins dates back to the late 1500’s. Kilcherman carries some extremely rare apple varieties with very distinctive flavors.
In 1955, Kilcherman purchased the dairy farm that he grew up on. He and his wife, Phyllis, began their business by growing strawberries. John Kilcherman started growing heirloom apples as a hobby. It was 30 years ago that Kilcherman started browsing catalogs looking for the “unusual” apple. He acquired cuttings from live trees all across the United States and abroad. He would then graft the cutting into existing rootstock. The grafted cutting grows into the rootstock and a young version of the heirloom tree is born. In time the new tree produces the antique fruit. He now grows almost 250 varieties of apples.
The Kilcherman’s sell their fruit out a barn on their farm north of Northport on the Leelanau Peninsula. The apples are hand bagged and put in quart containers on tables in an old wooden barn. Each apple variety is labeled with its name and a paragraph description of its origin, taste, and suggestions for how to eat or cook it. Apples can be purchased t the barn on the farm or online at the Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove website.
Example description you'll find on each apple variety
No apple orchard would be complete without the sweet smell and taste of apple cider. Kilcherman’s won’t disappoint you there either. They also produce their own blend of apple cider from over 20 different apple varieties. Phyllis Kilcherman has a goal to produce the best-tasting cider anywhere in the Midwest. Most visitors say she has succeeded.
There is another reason to visit Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove that many people don’t realize until they arrive at the barn to pick out their apples. The walls of the barn are lined with floor-to-ceiling shelving units filled with thousands historic soda pop bottles all shelved in alphabetical order. The Kilchermans have a collection of over 10,000 historic pop bottles that John claims is the largest collection in the world. He has more historic pop bottles than what is currently listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Vintage signs and cans hang from the rafters giving the barn a historic feel.
Historic Pop Bottle Collection
Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm is open Setptember through November. It is located on Kilcherman Road north of downtown Northport. From Traverse City, take the beautiful scenic drive (M-22) along Grand Traverse Bay to Northport. Continue on County Road 201 through the village and go north one mile to County road 640. Go one half mile to Kilcherman Road, the first road on the left. Look for our windmill on the left. From Sleeping Bear Dunes, take M-22 north along the west side of the Leelanau Peninsula in to the village of Northport. From Northport, follow the same Traverse City directions.
There is nothing as quaint as the unmanned fruit stand along a winding Leelanau road. Dozens of them dot the landscape throughout the county each with its own history and personality. Most are homebuilt. Some are weathered and unpainted. Others have layers of old paint gently pealing off giving it special character.
Leelanau Farm Stand
Travelers are often surprised by the local farm stand with its carefully packaged tomatoes, bags of apples, or bins of fresh corn, but no sales person. Rather than a cash register or even a metal money box, farm stands often contain nothing more than an old coffee can with a hand-cut hole in the lid in which to stuff coins or bills. Sometimes a dish or jar sits on the farm stand counter filled with change to make it convenient for the customer. It’s all based on the honor system.
Farm Stand on M-22
There are no fancy signs anywhere, only handwritten prices on a chalkboard, piece of cardboard, or on pint containers. Customers put their fruit and vegetables in used plastic and paper bags that are usually hanging on a nail just inside the stand or on a pole.
Berries start the season in late spring with strawberries, blueberries, and then raspberries. And then the prized sweet and tart cherries come in mid July. Late July brings peaches, apricots, sugar sweet corn, plump red tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, green beans, egg plant, and so much more. Fall bring apples, apples, and more apples. Squash, pumpkin and gourds are not far off.
Stop for a peck, a pint, or a pumpkin on your way home. Leelanau fruit & farm stands to visit:
Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farms: 11573 N. Kilcherman Road, Northport, (231–386–5637)Sue & Glenn’s Fruitstand: 5300 NW Bay Shore Drive/M–22, Omena. (231–386–5855)Lakeview Farms: 5714 N. Novotny Road, Northport, (231–386–5223)Jelink Orchards (2 stands): 5282 N. Jelink Road, Northport and 608 St. Joseph St./M–22 in Suttons Bay, (231–271–3986)Popp Farm: 10620 E. Omena Road, Northport, (231–271–3209)Bakker’s Acres: 2677 Setterbo Road, Suttons Bay, (231–271–3673)Hahnenberg Farm Market & Cider Mill: 555 S. Lake Leelanau Drive, Lake Leelanau,(231–855–6928)VerSnyder’s Fruit: 1524 S. Lake Shore Drive, Lake Leelanau, (231–256–9258)Williams Orchards: 3055 E. Sullivan, Cedar, (231–228–6992)The Ugly Tomato: 485 E. Harbor Highway/M–22 at Little Traverse Lake, Cedar, (231–342–5669)Sleeping Bear Orchards: 11225 S. Leelanau Highway/M–22, one mile north of Empire, (231–326–3276)
This weekend-October 24 to 26-enjoy winery tours and gourmet meals in the heart of Leelanau Peninsula and the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The annual Harvest Wine Tour has long been one of The Homestead’s most popular autumn events. And with good reason:
Right now in northern Michigan, the fall colors are at their peak making it the perfect time to sample the spectacular wines of the Leelanau Peninsula . This is the seventh year that The Homestead and the Leelanau Peninsula Vintner’s Association (LPVA) have parternered to feature this amazing wine tour and dinner package. The package includes two nights’ lodging, breakfast each morning, a tasting tour of three Leelanau County wineries on Saturday with transportation and lunch provided. That evening, you’ll enjoy a five-course meal prepared by Chef John Piombo at Nonna’s (at The Homestead). Rooms available in Fiddler’s Pond, Little Belle, and The Inn from only $154 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. Space is limited. Call 231.334.5100 for reservations.
In the October 3rd edition of USA Today, wine writer Jerry Shriver and travel editor Chris Gray profiled four up-and-coming wine regions. The article, “Off the Beaten Wine Trail: Explore Four Emerging Regions,” highlights New York’s Hudson Valley, Hill Country in Texas, the Eastern Townships of Quebec, and Michigan’s own Leelanau Peninsula.
Last year, the Harvest Stompede Vineyard Run & Walk sold out, so now’s the time to get yourself signed up to “stomp” (or gracefully run) through scenic vineyards without being chased away by winemakers wielding sticks. This course is only open to participants on race day, so it offers a rare look at the vineyards up close.
The 8th annual running and walking tour, sponsored by The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association, will be held September 20 and 21. Participants can choose to run a 7k or 5k, or complete a strolling non-competitive 5k walk. Both courses wind through a beautiful matrix of vineyard rows and offer stunning, scenic views of the rolling hills of Leelanau Peninsula.
However, the Harvest Stompede is not just a race with a chance to grab some bragging rights. The main attraction (and what usually sells out) follows the races. The rest of Saturday and Sunday is dedicated to touring the vineyards clad in a snazzy Stompede t-shirt, tasting the wines, and sampling the gourmet local snacks along the way.
Race starts and finishes at Ciccone Vineyards located at 10343 E. Hilltop Road south of Suttons Bay.
The Riverside Inn, a charming restaurant and inn on the banks of the Leland River, has been a landmark in Leland for over 100 years. The Inn boasts waterfront views and fine dining in a casual atmosphere. The lobby bar, dining rooms, and decks offer an innovative menu for dinners and Sunday brunch, as well as a wide list of world-class wines, featuring the best of Leelanau Peninsula vineyards.
The original Riverside Inn was built nearly single-handedly in 1902 by Jacob Schwarz, a portable saw-mill operator. The summer tourist population was steadily growing, and Schwarz had realized there was a need for inns and hotels in Leland.
After Schwarz and his wife died, the Inn continued in operation, managed by his two daughters. Catastrophe struck the Inn in the fall of 1924 when fire broke out on the third floor and completely destroyed the building. Having no fire department at that time, the men of the village formed a bucket brigade that extended from the bank of the river to the very peak of the building. They managed to remove nearly all of the furniture and to protect the neighboring buildings, but the Inn itself was a total loss.
Faced with this challenge, the family decided to carry on without constructing a new building. Instead they took over the dance hall that Jacob Schwarz had built on the banks of the Leland River. They turned it around to parallel the river, raised the roof to make it a two story structure, and converted it into the second Riverside Inn. This was accomplished in 1925 and the Inn was operated under the same management until 1957.
Barb and Kate Vilter, a mother-daughter team took over the operation of the inn in 1997. Since that time, the Vilters have been slowly adding their unique touch to a landmark of Leland. They have emphasized locally grown foods, and have cultivated lasting friendships with the farmers, hunters, and fishermen on Leelanau peninsula. The local products they feature range from Carlson’s whitefish, Glacier Springs trout, Bardenhagen berries, Leelanau Cheese raclette, vegetables and herbs from all over the area, and many Leelanau wineries.
The Inn, which claims to be the area’s most romantic getaway, offers several charming suites in a variety of styles. The “Islands Suite” overlooks the Leland River and has a sitting room with an antique wardrobe. The “Petoskey Suite” features a soothing palette and a four-poster bed. The Inn is also a popular location for weddings throughout the year.
The Riverside Inn is open seven nights a week and for Sunday brunch. Located at 302 River Street. 231.256.9971 or 888.257.0102.