Chateau Fontaine’s tasting room was quaint and charming with a beautiful vineyard behind it.  Our experience here was everything we look for in a winery visit.  Our hostess, Kate, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and welcomed all our questions.  We learned so much about their wine making processes and were given complete and thorough information about each wine we sampled.

We worked our way down their complete wine list:

  • Chardonnay – Their Chardonnay was rich and creamy with grapes hand picked from 30 year old vines.
  • Pinot Gris – Made from the same grape as Pinot Grigio but processed in a completely different manner.  This wine was softer than most Pinot Gris.
  • Woodland White – This wine made from the Auxerrois grape originating in the Alsace region of Germany was tangy and unusual.
  • Pinot Blanc – A white wine made from the lighter skinned version of the Pinot Noir grape.
  • Dry Riesling – For this wine, the grapes are picked three weeks earlier than the sweeter Riesling.
  • Gewurztraminer – Known for its distinctive floral notes, this version was much more subtle in both the nose and the flavor.
  • Semi-Sweet Riesling – To enhance the sweeter flavor, the grapes are left on the vines three more weeks than those used for the Dry Riesling.
  • Laughing Waters Rose – Made from 100% Pinot Noir, the lighter color is achieved by fermenting on the skins for only the first 24 hours.
  • Big Paw Red – A very smooth red made from a blend of Chambourcin, Regent, Chancellor, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc.
  • Cherry Wine – A fruit wine made from a blend of Michigan tart and sweet cherries.
  • Viognier – Their premium white French wine.
  • Cherryshine – A port style cherry wine made from fresh Michigan cherries and fortified with distilled spirits.
  • Reserve Pinot Noir – Pinot Noir aged on oak for 18 months and then aged an additional 18 months in the bottle.

Their wines were expertly crafted and delicious.  It was very difficult to narrow down our selections because we had so many favorites.  Topping our lists were the Chardonnay, Woodland White, Cherry Wine, Cherryshine, and Reserve Pinot Noir.


We can clearly no longer say we are ABC drinkers.  There’s just something special about the Traverse City area Chardonnays.  Chateau Fontaine is truly special as well.  This winery is not to be missed!