Bel Lago wines are made from grapes grown in family-owned vineyards overlooking Lake Leelanau and Lake Michigan. The emphasis at Bel Lago has been on quality, with an unwavering commitment to excellence. We are winegrowers, and believe firmly, the old adage “the wines are made in the vineyard.” Bel Lago wines are based on the production of quality fruit from select clones of a very unique varietals mix. We invite you to enjoy our carefully crafted Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Auxerrois, as well as a variety of other wines.
Located in the heart of Cedar, Michigan.
- The region is also excellent for fine sparkling wines.
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Practices & Techniques
Many of our white wines are fermented in stainless steel, such as Pinot Grigio and the varieties used to make Leelanau Primavera. However, Chardonnay and Auxerrois are fermented and aged in oak barrels. The backbone of many of our wines is nice bright acid.
The production of red wine differs greatly from the production of white and cherry wine. First and foremost, red wines begin fermentation in contact with the skins and seeds. Bel Lago’s red wines also include tannins and a secondary fermentation called malolactic fermentation. We have a diverse set of barrels available from all over France and the United States, which assist in the development of the red wines by concentrating flavors and imparting a toasty quality to our red blends and Pinot Noir.
Finishing decisions and bottling are the most important past of the winemaking process at Bel Lago. Many of our blends are very complex, pulling together small lots of several varieties and adding the perfect level of sweetness, are important aspects of our annual winemaking.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
We grow over 100 varieties on 37 acres, including rarely grown varieties such as Auxerrois, Siegerrebe and Cayuga White. We also grow several popular vinifera varieties: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Riesling. One of our favorite varieties to grow is Pinot Noir. In our 3 estate vineyards we grow over 30 different clones of Pinot Noir.
The vineyard is managed by Tomas Moreno Jr. with the assistance of several others including his parents Tomas and Juana, who have been with the company since the beginning. Sadly Tomas Sr. passed away in early 2013, he will be missed by many. The majority of the vineyard work is completed by hand, including the pruning, tying, thinning and harvesting. Charlie Edson, PhD oversees the decision making processes in the vineyard, and given his extensive educational background, he employs many of the tools available for maximizing crop potential. We use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to managing the vineyards, by limiting sprays and monitoring for pests. We must protect our vineyards from predators, such as starlings, deer and raccoons, thru the use of nets and electric fencing.
Harvest begins in mid September and runs through October. Bel Lago processed 135 tons of fruit in 2012 from our vineyards and from neighboring vineyards and orchards.