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Proud Member

rhone

Domaine Berrien Cellars is a proud member of Rhone Rangers.

We can’t stress enough that wine is made in the vineyard, which is why our vineyards are so important to us. Domaine Berrien Cellars is an all estate winery. What does that mean? It means that all of our wines are made only from grapes grown in our vineyards and that all of our winemaking and bottling takes place right here on site as well. This gives us the control over the grapes and we make decisions all during the growing year that maximize the quality (not quantity) of our grapes. This gives us a higher probability of producing the most premium wines.

Our unique site located on one of the highest points in Berrien County, within the Lake Michigan Shore AVA growing region, provides what can be the ideal climate for outstanding wine grapes. The extended growing season and gentle ripening contribute to the characteristics of quality and complexity in our wines. Located on southerly facing hillsides ranging from 900’ to 800’ of elevation, our vineyards are trellised in a north/south direction to provide even sunlight on both sides of the vines, and hold the sun’s heat to allow better ripening of the grapes, especially for red wines.

Our oldest vines were planted in 1992, and we have been adding more grapevines each year as our needs grow. We currently grow 21 different varieties of wine grapes in our 40 acres of vineyards:

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Sauvignon

Chardonnay

Chelois

deChaunac

Lemberger

Malbec

Marsanne

Merlot

Petit Verdot

Pinot Gris

Pinot Noir

Riesling

Roussanne

St. Vincent

Sauvignon Blanc

Seyval Blanc

Syrah

Traminette

Vignoles

Viognier

Autumn in the Vineyard:  It’s Harvest Time!  The grapes have already gone thru “veraison”, which is when they start the ripening process by changing color.  Grapes for red winemaking change from green to purple and grapes for white winemaking change from green to golden yellow. The 21 varieties of wine grapes that we grow ripen at different times, starting around the middle of September and continuing until the end of October.  To determine when the grapes are ripe and ready to pick, we test them for sugar (or brix level), pH, and acidity.  Wine grapes contain lots of seeds, and those seeds also turn from yellow/green to brown when the grapes are approaching maturity.  After the grapes are picked, the leaves turn yellow and                                                                             fall off and the vines “harden off” and go into a dormant                                                                              state for the winter. 

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