December 13, 2018


Bottoms Up
By Janice Binkert | March 10, 2018

Respect. Aretha Franklin wasn’t getting enough of it, and these days, neither are medium-bodied, elegant red wines like Blaufränkisch. Which is puzzling, because this traditional Austrian cool-climate red is infinitely approachable, delicious, and food friendly — complementing a wide range of dishes from lamb to pizza. Left Foot Charley’s Bryan Ulbrich was one of the first northern Michigan vintners to recognize the potential of Blaufränkisch, showcasing it early on at his urban winery and tasting room in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Since then, it has developed a small but fervent legion of fans who actually give it a lot of respect, well aware that it is a limited-release wine. What that means is that if you want to get in on the action, you need to get over to LFC, treat yourself to a taste, and snap up a few bottles; only 20 cases are left. Blaufränkisch MacDonald Vineyard 750 ml, $35. Left Foot Charley, 806 Red Dr., Traverse City. (231) 995-0500.


Welcome to Michigan’s Most Remote Brewery

After years of planning and honing his beer-making skills, this spring, Patrick McGinnity plans to open Beaver Island’s first microbrewery. Opening a craft brewery is challenging. Opening one on a remote island in Lake Michigan that’s either a 15-minute plane ride or a two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride from ... Read More >>

Gaylord: A boomtown Up North

Gaylord native Gary Scott had moved to Indiana, where he and some partners started a business to invest in distressed properties. He was talking to a banker in Detroit about real estate in Bloomington when he asked what kind of deals might be available in northern Michigan. ... Read More >>

Small Up North Towns on the Rise

Spotlight on Bellaire (pictured)Seems Traverse City isn’t the only place in the region making those “Best of” lists. The Antrim County hamlet of Bellaire was recently named to the list of Best Lakeside Towns in the U.S. by Country Living Magazine, alongside the likes of Vergennes, Vermont, Greenville, ... Read More >>

A Wicked Cool Ride Around the Straits

You expect to see boats around Mackinac Island in summer. Sailboats, power boats, cruisers, and the ubiquitous ferries that run residents and guests back and forth across the Straits of Mackinac, sure. But there’s a more unusual vessel visible these days — an all-wooden Down East lobster ... Read More >>