The Knot link of Aurora cellars
Aurora Cellars Comes Out on Top at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition


Aurora Cellars was awarded top awards from the annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition this past month. Out of the seven wines submitted, Aurora wines were awarded Best of Class, Double Gold, Gold, three silvers, and a bronze.

Earning the title of ‘Best of Class’ for Aurora Cellars is our 2022 Sauvignon Blanc. Best of Class wine is awarded to the best wine out of all of the entries submitted in its specific category. Aurora Cellars is one of three Michigan wineries to earn the Best of Class title this year.

Mike Dunne, a judge for the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, states “Sauvignon Blanc customarily is a fairly straight-forward wine, bringing to the table suggestions of grass or grapefruit, reinvigorating acidity, and an amiable adaptability that makes it a cordial companion with all sorts of foods. This Aurora has all that, but also a complexity rare to the varietal, with minerality and smoke coursing through its grapefruit, peach and lime fruit. It’s a fully ripe and abidingly insistent Sauvignon Blanc, almost feral in its attack and grip.” 

Even though Sauvignon Blanc grows within several regions across the United States, it is very well-known in two of them – North Coast, California and Columbia Valley in Washington state. Aurora Cellars’ has produced two vintages of Sauvignon Blanc and has become a popular choice among our visitors.  We have high hopes that the variety will become a great and consistent variety to grow on the Leelanau Peninsula.

When drinking Sauvignon Blanc from California and Washington state, you often experience flavors of honeydew melon, white peach, pineapple, grapefruit and other fruity flavors. Similar to Sauvignon Blanc grown in the Columbia Valley region, our Sauvignon Blanc has notes of citrus and minerality on the palate.

Brut Rosé, one of the most popular sparkling wines in the Aurora Cellars portfolio, was awarded the Double Gold medal. Double Gold awards are given to wines when the group judges unanimously decide that the wine deserves a gold medal. 

Along with the elegant rose color, this pink hued bubbly is refreshing on the palate. Aromas of candied cherries will engulf your senses. The Brut Rosé is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir.

The Brut Rosé is processed with whole grape clusters and produced in the charmat method to preserve the fresh fruit aromatics. 

This wine has received several high awards from national and international wine competitions along with high scores from well-respected wine reviewers including James Suckling, Wine Enthusiast , and Decanter.

The 2021 Grüner Veltliner was awarded a Gold medal. Even though Grüner Veltliner is a popular Austrian variety, it has made a big splash on the American wine market within the last decade. Outside of Austria, this white variety can be found in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Northern Italy, California, Oregon, New Zealand, Pennsylvania, and of course, Northern Michigan! 

Generally, Grüner Veltliner will have bright citrus notes of lemon and lime. But, subtle notes of grapefruit and apricot can also be found. That is exactly what you will find in Aurora Cellars’ Grüner Veltliner. The 2021 vintage offers strong grapefruit flavors with a mineral complex to complement the aromatics on the nose.

Earlier last year, the 2021 Grüner Veltliner was named one of “The 14 Best Grüner Veltliners of 2023” and received a 90 point rating from VinePair. No matter the vintage, this variety has also received several high awards from wine competitions throughout the years, as well as, high scores from well-known wine reviewers. 

Earning silver medals during the 2024 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition were our 2020 Blaufränkisch, 2018 Cabernet Franc, and 2022 Medium Sweet Gewürztraminer. Receiving a bronze medal was our 2022 Pinot Noir Rosé.