Tag Archives: Northern Michigan

Project 24: Laurentide Winery



Walk with me through the vines. Every day would be fine. Each time I am afforded this luxury, I’m taken aback by the magic — and in awe of the hard work associated with maintaining a vineyard.

I can’t stress this enough. The wine you drink: It has been tended to by loving and extremely hard-working hands.

On a warm September morning, Susan Braymer, who owns Laurentide with her husband, Bill, was gracious enough to take me in her four-wheel drive vehicle onto her property.

(Please, my dear reader, do not tire of me speaking of the beauty of the land. I’m not trying to fluff anything here, I paint this land because it is special. It is breathtakingly beautiful.)


My appreciation of the land grew even deeper in meeting Susan, who is extremely passionate about it. She explained to me about the Laurentide glaciers, showing me all of the stones she had carried in her truck from where the vines grow to the tasting room. Susan wants people to see that the wine is about the land, and so do I. The soil is filled with these rocks, as well as shale and limestone and seashells left behind by the glacier 14,000 years ago. You see, the land is special, and with a view of the Whaleback and a peekaboo of Lake Michigan, this plot of land is simply magnificent, orchards and vines as far as the eye can see.


Susan asked me if I had time to walk in the vines. She — like I, no doubt — had a long “to do” list, but you simply have to stop and smell the roses sometimes, and I thank her for taking the time. I studied the vines as we walked and the grapes and how different grapes produce different foliage. And I enjoyed the landscape flowing on all around me. This is life: These are the moments of pure beauty and enjoyment.

Project 24: Blustone Vineyards



When the landscape is your subject and paint your medium, you could ask for little else in life than to be dropped on the Leelanau Peninsula. Right in the middle of the peninsula, right off M-204, you will find an excellent example of the landscape that has so enchanted at Blustone Vineyards and tasting room.

The hills roll on and the tasting room feels like a frame for the beauty that is the land here. Tom and Joan Knighton are the proprietors, who bought this little slice of heaven in 2010. As the sign inside the tasting room says, “Discovering a piece of Leland bluestone on the shore of Lake Michigan is finding a rare treasure of nature. Blustone wine is inspired by these unanticipated moments of life.”


Need I say more? Only that this is a landscape worth discovering, and the wine is the story of the land, the season and the people captured in a bottle!