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Explore The Pour July 2014 : Page 17

Producer Dave Miller The aromatic wines that White Pine Winery is known for—Pinot Grigio, Riesling and Traminette—have all been recognized several times over in various competitions. Knowledge meets passion at White Pine Winery in southwest Michigan By Nic ole Allen Vine Science n the years he spent working as a winemaker for St. Julian, Dave Miller always envisioned the next steps of his journey: having a vineyard and making his own wine. It would be a natural progression for a man who spent years studying biology, honing in on viticulture—grape science—and eventually earning his PhD in 1996. This dream became reality in 2009, when Miller and his wife Sandy founded White Pine Winery and Vineyards, I named for Michigan’s state tree. The 40-acre property in Lawton, just south of Paw Paw, is in an area that Miller describes as “fruit country.” With a job teaching winemaking at Michigan State University to supplement their income, Miller was able to procure and open a tasting room in St. Joseph in 2010. He says the community, festivals and foot traffic from locals and tourists that initially attracted him to the storefront are what help it continue to be an ideal site for White Pine. Custom crush The vineyard currently includes three acres of grapes—two Riesling and one Cabernet Franc. Aside from estate grown grapes, Miller sources grapes from other counties and uses the “custom crush” operation at Fenn Valley to process them. 16 { July 2014 } Photograph By Mina Hami

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