ミシガンのナパバレー、コロマ – その1 – ミシガンワイン  Michigan’s Napa Valley, Coloma – Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, Karma Vista Winery

ナパバレー(Napa Valley)の中西部版と銘打ってミシガン州が今PRに今懸命なのが、ミシガンのワイン。



有名なのは州北部にあるトラバースシテイ(Traverse City) だが、実は州南西部もワインの産地。

Michigan is promoting hard Michigan wine, saying Michigan wine trails are Napa Valley of Midwest (comparing Michigan to Napa Valley…?  ummmm).  Michigan actually produces a lot of wine.  Traverse City is the most famous, but Southwest Michigan is a pretty big wine place, too.


ミシガン州には4つのワイントレイル (wine trail) がある:

Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail

Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail

Wineries of Old Mission Peninsular

Leelanau Peninsular Wine Trail


10月初旬の秋晴れの日、このLake Michigan Shore Wine Trail のひとつ、コロマ(Coloma) という町のワイナリー2つ、コンテッサ(Contessa Wine Cellars)とカルマビスタ(Karma Vista Vineyards & Winery) に行って来た。まず、カルマビスタについて。

I-94  exit 39 で下り、北側に進むと、5分もしないところにカルマビスタ ワイナリーはある。

I hear the soil along Lake Michigan is very suited for growing grapes.  There are 4 wine trails in Michigan:  Lake MIchigan Shore Wine Trail, Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail, Old Mission Peninsular, and Leelanau Peninsular.

Early October, I visited Coloma, a town that belongs to Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail.  There are three wineries in Coloma, and I visited two of them, Contessa and Karma Vista.  I am going to write about Karma Vista.  Take I-94, exit at 39, and head north.  Within 5 minutes, you will be at Karma Vista Winery.


The sign is very visible from the road.

入口から。この長い道の行き着く先がTasting Room。


The house at the end of the long road is the tasting room.  Reminds me of European fairy tales I read when I was a kid.



You can park your car right next to the building (plenty of parking space).


The sign on the gate says they close on Tuesday and shows their hours.


私も早く!  胸は高鳴る。

People are drinking wine in the terrace in the back.

I want to do it, too, soon!  My heart starts throbbing.


They look like vineyards in the distance – are they their vineyards?



There are more vineyards on the left of the entrance – hilly and picturesque.

They must belong to Karma Vista.  They purchase grapes from other farmers, though. They make wine somewhere else.  This is just a tasting room here.


Inside.  Very urbane and stylish interior.


People are enjoying wine and the scenary in the terrace outside.


Life is Good!

Michigan on a sunny autumn day is just gorgeous…



You can drink wine inside, too.  The TV was showing a show about how grapes are grown and how wine is made.

And then I realized that only a pro could do a bold paint job like this – painting a wall in a dark gray color like this –  I could never have courage to do it.


Their use of colors is superb.  The display of wine is nice.



They were selling T-shirts with the logo of Karma Vista.  It would not be my cup of tea to wear a shirt with a logo of any store…




They were selling these, too.  Flip flaps are now deep into American culture. Are they supposed to be hung around the neck of wine bottles for gifts?

I think the owner of this winery likes oriental stuff.  The name, Karma, is obviously from Buddhism, and their website mentions Zen teaching, and they sell flip flap stuff.



I tasted several kinds of wine at the counter.  I told the sales lady that I like semi-dry and dry.  I also told her my price range.  She recommended several, and I liked two of them (see below).


後で観光パンフレットを見たら、この「Mojo Nouveau」、このワイナリーのおススメ品であった。

右の白ワイン「SoCo Grigio」も美味。このワイナリーのウエブサイトによると、2010年ものがミシガン州の銀賞を、LAのコンテストで銅賞を受賞したと書いてある。

両方のビンとも、何年のものかどこにも書かれていないことに、今頃気がついた。これって普通? 私が買ったのは2010年ものと思っていいのだろうか?


The left one looks like Zinfandel, but it’s Merlot – how unusual and cool!

Their brochure said they recommend Mojo Nouveau.  This is it!  I liked what they recommend.

The right one, SoCo Grigio, was also delicious.  Their website says 2010 SoCo Grigio won the silver award in one of the contests in Michigan and won the bronze in a contest in L.A.

Then I noticed that neither of the wine I bought says anywhere on the bottle what year.  What the heck??   Was what I bought 2010?  I planned to buy just one bottle, but I had to buy both of the two I liked –  failed to meet my budget again…




The granddaughter of the owner processed my purchase at the cashier.  Her grandfather was standing next to her.  Their family grew grapes for several generations, and now make wine, too.

Their wine is sold only within ten-some mile radius.  No wonder I never saw their wine in any store where I live (metro-Detroit).  They don’t take orders online, but if you e-mail them, they will ship your order if it’s a large enough quantity.



Some restaurants in Chicago now carry Michigan wine produced by small wineries like Karma Vista.  I found an article about it in the Michiganwine website.  Check it out – http://www.michiganwines.com/news.php?menu_id=15&news_id=3&article_id=158


View from the tasting room.


Finished shopping and exited the door.  The front porch looks very relaxing and beautiful, too

駐車場へ – ブドウ畑のど真ん中に駐車場があるような感じ。

Out the door to the parking lot.  You feel as if the parking lot is in the middle of vineyards.



I look around the gorgeous scenery one more time – au revoir until I come back next year (hopefully).


These vineyards are not the only grape supply for Karma Vista’s wine-making. They purchase different varieties of grapes from the farmers along Lake Michigan.  All the grapes they purchase are grown in Michigan so they can say their wine is pure 100% Michigan wine.



View of the road from the exit (entrance when you come).  Coloma is hilly and beautiful with lush green, though not spectacular.

こういう風に、青にブドウをあしらったLake Michigan Wine Trailのサインが、この地域のあちこちに見られる。

You will see the blue sign of Lake Michigan Wine Trail here and there along the roads in the wine trail.

I-94 のexit 39の出口に、すぐこのサインが。

「Welcome to Coloma」のサインと  wine trailのサインの両方があり、分かりやすい。

As soon as you exit 39 of I-94, you will see these signs (on the north side):  one sine “Welcome to Coloma” and the other, Wine Trail.  They make it very easy for you to figure out which way to follow.

Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trailの地図

(source: Michigan Wine Country magazine by Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council)

カルマビスタの場所は、6991 Ryno Rd, Coloma, MI 49038(赤い番号の9)




Karma Vista winery is shown as the red No. 9 in the map above.

You can enjoy winery tour from early spring through early winter.  In deep winter, I don’t know – this area has deep snow and ice.  Some Americans must visit them in mid-winter, though, because Karma Vista does not close in mid-winter.

さて、Lake Michigan Wine Trailとは、2002年に、この地域のワイナリーが集まって結成した寄り合いのようなもの。

何十年か前、ワインメーカー達が、ミシガン南西部の気候が、世界で第7位の大きさの淡水湖であるミシガン湖に守られて温和な気候(私から見れば冬は極寒の地なのに!!)であり、フランスやドイツの気候に似ていること、また、Lake effectによる深雪のおかげで(この地域は豪雪地帯)地下の根っこが凍らずにすむこと、からブドウの栽培に適していることに気づき、ヨーロッパ品種のブドウをこの地域に植え、ワインを作り始めたのが、Lake Michigan Wine Trailの始まりだそうだ。

だから、カルマビスタワイナリーはウエブサイトで、「私たちはナパバレーとボルドーのちょうど中間に位置して。。。」と自己紹介しているわけだ。気持ちは分かるけど、しかし、ナパとボルドーを持ち出すとは! 読むこちらがちょっと気恥ずかしくなるが、まあ、いいか。

ミシガン州政府が後援している「Michigan Wine Country」という雑誌があり、ミシガンのホテルや観光事務所によく無料で置いてある。ワイントレイルの情報がふんだんに載っていて分かりやすいので、ミシガンに今度遊びに行くことがあったら、1冊拾ってくることをおススメします。


なお、Colomaのもうひとつのワイナリー、コンテッサ(Contessa Wine Cellars)にも行って来たので、そちらの方も読んでくださいね!

Lake Michigan Wine Trail was formed in 2002.  The wineries in this region got together and formed it to promote their wine.

Several decades ago, the winemakers realized that the climate of this area is temperate thanks to Lake Michigan which is the 7th largest fresh water lake (the climate is temperate???   To me, it’s frigid and too severe), similar to that of France and Germany, suited for growing grapes, and deep snow thanks to the lake effect protects roots of grapes from freezing.  They started growing European varieties of grapes here and started making wine.

The state of Michigan sponsors the Michigan Wine Country magazine.  They are available for free in many hotels and tourist information in Michigan.  They have a lot of information about the Michigan wine trails.

As the state of Michigan promotes tourism a lot, there should be more and more visitors to the Michigan wine trails.  When I lived in this region over 20 years ago, Coloma was just another farm town.  It seems to have grown to be a cute tourist attraction now, perfect for a weekend getaway.  The effort of the state of Michigan had an impact on me, too.  Having read the brochures, magazines, and the websites, I drove 2.5 hours from metro-Detroit to come visit the wineries in Coloma.  And I want to do it again next year!

If you have not read my post about the other winery in Coloma, Contessa Wine Cellars, please read it!  Click here   – voila.

About tukusigal

もう長いことミシガンに住んでいる日本人オバさんの、自分なり、それなりのミシガン湖地方見聞記でーす。I am a long-time resident of Michigan. I am here forever. A middle-age Japanese woman. I love Imari porcelain, so my profile photo is an Imari vase which I bought in Imari, Saga, Kyushu, Japan. When I retire (when...?), I reveal my photo - but by then I may be too wrinkled (lo).
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