Dearborn for the last hundred years or so has been thought of as the home of the Ford Motor Car Company and rightfully so, so the thought of a Farmer’s Market may sound incongruous. It really is not as far fetched as it sounds, I can remember for years seeing acres and acres of soy crops planted on vast stretches of Ford land in the middle of Dearborn. Henry Ford was a firm believer in soy, and I know at least once he was photographed in a suit made from the fiber of the soy plant. Agriculture plays a bit part of the exhibits at the Henry Ford Museum and also at Greenfield Village, two of the greatest tourist areas in South East Michigan and located in the City of Dearborn.
A friend of mine that is with the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce through social media invited me to attend the opening day events for this market and I was able to oblige. Alas my friend was sequestered in a Chamber meeting, so the most I could do was wave and also to a couple of other members that I knew. As I wandered around the different booths or stalls that were set up by restaurants, honey makers, agricultural plants and an assortment of other vendors I discovered a winery. I always have time to have a tasting or two, when it comes to wine. One never knows what one may find that may be interesting.
Flying Otter Vineyard & Winery is located in Adrian, Michigan about an hour and half away from Dearborn. As a Michigan winery it is relatively young and new and I was not aware of them, but then there are always new wineries to discover from all parts of the world, and one cannot always just keep drinking the same wine. I also think that it would be very boring if I kept writing about the same wines over and over again. Flying Otter uses cold-hardy varietals in their vineyards and if you go to the their website you can even read how they tried some and later pulled out some plantings to be replaced with others, as Michigan can have rather severe winters. They were offering five different wines to try; two whites, two reds and a dessert wine. They offered a Riesling which was a moderately sweet wine and then they had a white called Northern Lights. Northern Lights is made from Chardonel and Traminette grapes. Chardonel is a hybrid developed in New York State which has similar winters and is a cross between Seyval Blanc and Chardonnay. Traminette is also a hybrid of Joannes Seive and Gewurztraminer that was developed in 1965 and has the spiciness of Gewurztraminer. Northern Lights is what would be termed a semi-dry white wine with some crispness. The first red wine that I tried was actually a Rose called Sexy Devil and it is a blend of red and white wines. Sexy Devil is a mix of Seyval Blanc, Traminette, Frontenac, Chancellor and Noiret; these are all cold hardy hybrids and a real bonus for The Century Club counters. The other red wine that I tried was a bottle of Noiret, which is a cross between earlier hybrids and Steuben and I really liked this wine, as it had a nice peppery spice to it and I bought a bottle to let my Bride try what she missed. The last wine that I tried was a dessert wine called Cherry Pie and it is a natural for Michigan. Cherry Pie was a blend of Montmorency Cherry juice and Seyval Blanc and it was very pleasant and not a cloyingly sweet wine, which it could very well have become in lesser hands of a winemaker. All in all I enjoyed this surprising wine tasting and if I get a chance to be out in the direction of Adrian, I think it deserves a stop by.