If any one season can prove particular vineyards are Gand Cru, 2019 may be it for Brengman Brothers.
Winter behaved itself in the Leelanau Peninsula mainly because the bay and lake did not form ice coverage. While southwest Michigan at times last February was up against vine-damaging cold temperatures, our vineyards Up North were not. This is a great example of why being surrounded with open water on three sides means our vineyards are simply better protected from the winter cold temperatures than anywhere else in the Midwest.
Our winter bud count exercise showed only the Viognier block as having above average winter kill. Every other block was registering above average alive buds.
The 2019 spring bud-break started a week later than average (around the third week in May) which eliminated any stressfrom receiving a killer frost while under budding conditions. We’ll take a late start over an early start with frost every season.
Summer was sunny and cool for the most part. Plenty of rain, but sunny and dry conditions returned quickly after the storms to stave off any harsh mildew conditions. The only thing missing was the above average heat that just wasn’t showing itself. By August, the vineyards were behind but there was plenty of season left on the calendar to fully ripen the fruit.
September was showing promise at the start with clear skies and a nice steady run of solid ripening weather days.
Fall had a good start. Harvest began in October with the usual white grapes coming off the vines in the same position as usual -- chardonnay, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, muscat, chenin blanc, gewürztraminer and finally riesling. Pinot Noir rose' was spot-on for ripeness. What was left were the reds, and we waited until the season was over before we harvested. We were pleasantly surprised by how well all the wines went through fermentation without any unripeness in the flavors, including the reds, with such low pH recordings. The winemaking process used our lowest So2 additions on record because of the harvested chemistry of the must and wine. The stability and clarity steps for the wines were textbook, with very little filtering needed.
We doubt that you’ll receive a simular optimistic vintage report for the 2019 season from the other wineries up here. The same mix-reporting on vintages would be true from historic places like Burgundy, Mosel and many others, so we have confidence to say that we are one of the Grand Cru places in the New World of wine. We can’t wait for you to taste this 2019 vintage.