About Our Lake Leelanau, MI Boutique Vineyard
Our Commitment to the Best Tasting Wines
Aurora Cellars is part of Simpson Family Estates, owned and operated by siblings Sam and Taylor Simpson who have a long family heritage of farming on the Leelanau Peninsula. The Simpsons acquired the property due to its unique physical and geographical components which intrigued and excited the siblings with what could be cultivated. After studying and becoming more familiar with the property, they knew Aurora Cellars was a viticultural gem. The property is unique in that it is composed of nearly all hard compact clay soil with rolling hills protected in the heart of the Leelanau Peninsula. The siblings agreed the objective of Aurora Cellars would be to push the boundaries of innovation in vineyard and winemaking practices. Their mission is to produce world class, cool climate wines with a focus on red varieties. The result is wine with an elegance, nuance and true expressions of where they are grown.
Aurora Cellars’ estate flagship reds planted are Blaufränkisch, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. All these varietals are hand tended to, hand harvested, crafted, and barrel-aged in small lots by the Simpson Family Estates’ Harbor Hill Services, its vineyard and wine consulting and production company. Officially established in 1980 by the Simpson family, this ground to glass award-winning operation has been actively farming on the Leelanau Peninsula since 1956.
Growing and producing world class cool climate red wines on the northern edge of a viticultural growing region is not an easy task, but the Simpsons recognized the risk and are up to the challenge. Their farming heritage, forward-thinking attitude, and edgy and innovative business practices are what have helped these distinct cool climate reds gain notoriety nationally.
Our Winemaking Steps
We use the naturally sustaining environment of the Leelanau Peninsula to create our wines. The terroir, or all-natural environment in which we craft our wines, makes us unique in the boutique winery industry. We spare no expense in our winemaking process by:
Tending To A Small But Fertile Vineyard
Larger wineries have expansive grounds but less quality control. On the other hand, ours are smaller, enabling us to manage the soil and every other aspect of the wines. We commit ourselves to sustainable practices, guaranteeing the first step of the process starts things off on the right foot.
Performing Quality Harvesting Processes
Harvesting is a crucial process. If we harvest a grapevine too soon, it will negatively impact the quality of the batch. So we carefully monitor the plant’s soil structure, its acid and sugar levels, and much more to ensure the grapes have reached peak ripeness before picking them and moving to the next step.
Handling and Fermenting Gently
We want to avoid extreme ripeness, too much fermentation, and over-extraction. Doing so leads to higher alcohol and the extraction of undesired taste profiles and flavors. Our boutique wines are then aged to perfection before they are ready to be bottled.
The Benefits of Choosing A Boutique Wine
Whether you are planning a wedding or a wine tasting outing, there are a wide array of reasons to choose Aurora Cellars. As a boutique winery, we emphasize each element of our wines’ quality, something some larger wineries cannot do. Before you choose a big winery for your event, consider the benefits of boutique wines:
- Location, Location, Location: Every winemaker knows the importance of location in the production of wines. Boutique wineries are in the best position to capitalize because they can plant their grapes in small patches of rich soil for a consistent and notable outcome.
- Premium Farming Techniques: The Simpsons come from a family with a rich history in farming. Their knowledge means they understand the finer points of planting and cultivating the grapes that make their wines so delicious.
- The Best Aging Barrels: We use French oak barrels at our winery. We do not merely select any barrel from our suppliers. Instead, we can carefully consider every detail of the barrels we use as a boutique winery before putting our wines into them. We also understand the best amount of time to age our wines.
- Carefully Considered Blending Techniques: Winemaking is a complicated and nuanced process. At larger wineries, winemakers can ignore some of these nuances. We do not. Our boutique winery understands the importance of considering every element of the process, from the percentages, how yearly changes impact the batch, and varietal considerations.
Join Our Boutique Winery’s Wine Club
At Aurora Cellars, we aim to create a fun-filled and educational experience for our customers. Our goal is to instill in them a love and appreciation for the finer points of winemaking and drinking. To that end, we established our Wine Clubs, which gives members access to a bevy of special features, including our select and boutique wines. Some of the benefits include six or twelve bottles, depending on your level of membership, free wine tastings, deals on wines, and discounts on glass pours!
Contact Us Today To Order Our Boutique Wines
We are confident that you will find a great wine to pair with dinner or enjoy as an evening nightcap. Our winery is committed to transferring our love of wine to our customers through our exacting and nuanced approach. We offer wine tasting tours, and we are extremely accommodating to wedding planners. Contact us today to buy a bottle or case of our wines.