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Hunt for the Reds of October & Raise Money for the Red Cross

Grand Rapids Red Cross, Hunt for the Reds of October Wine Barrel Photo
"Every gift helps deliver Red Cross services in our community." -Kevin Bavers, Red Cross of NW Mich.

For almost half a century, local residents have been enjoying regional wines handcrafted by vintners along the Leelanau Peninsula. This fall, the peninsula’s vintners are giving back to the community that has helped make their businesses a longtime success.


The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association is partnering with the American Red Cross of Northwest Michigan by hosting its annual Hunt for the Reds of October event, where donations from the sales of featured wines will benefit the Red Cross.


This FREE event takes place Friday through Sunday, October 25 to 27 along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. Each of the 22 participating wineries are offering free tastes of featured red wines; the event is open to the public.


In addition, during the month of October, the vintners are hosting Red Cross collection jars in their tasting rooms and accepting donations at their recently opened office, located at 718 North St. Joseph Street, Suite K-2 in Suttons Bay as well as online at


The Leelanau Peninsula vintners are partnering with the Red Cross to raise funds to provide critical services to those experiencing emergencies. The Red Cross of Northwest Michigan coordinates volunteers for both local and national disaster responses, provides vital Services to the Armed Forces, teaches lifesaving health and safety skills, and collects vital blood from local donors throughout Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties.


“We are so pleased to partner with such a great association and are looking forward to raising awareness of our local community’s needs while having a good time," said Kevin Bavers, executive director of the Northwest Michigan Red Cross. "Every gift helps and the added financial support will help deliver Red Cross services in our local community.”


In addition to raising awareness of the services of the Red Cross, the Leelanau vintners are hoping that wine enthusiasts will discover high quality red wines produced in the region.


“There are great cool-climate red varieties planted on the peninsula,” shares Adam Satchwell, winemaker of Shady Lane Cellars of Suttons Bay. “Our Pinot Noir shows an intense aromatic and more elegant version of Pinot. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are also showing great results. A better understanding of how to grow these varieties has resulted in bigger, more complete reds.”


Satchwell’s 2010 Blue Franc won Best of Class at the Michigan Wine and Spirits Competition, and several of his other reds have won gold medals at prestigious national competitions. Leelanau reds, in general, are earning an increasing number of medals, both in Michigan and nationally. During the event, Shady Lane is pouring Franc -n- Franc and Pinot Noir.


Other great features include 2011 Sunset Red from Boathouse Vineyards of Lake Leelanau. The blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Regent earned a gold medal at the Tasters Guild. The winery is also presenting customer favorite 2011 Boathouse Red, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Five percent of sales of these wines is being donated to the Red Cross. Like Shady Lane and Boathouse, each of 22 participating wineries are featuring red wine bursting with regional flavor.


“One thing is for sure,” shares LPVA Director Lorri Hathaway, “participants in the event will discover several delicious reds along the Leelanu Peninsula Wine Trail - what a great way to support a fantastic cause like the American Red Cross.”


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