Monday-Saturday: 11AM – 6PM
Sunday: 11AM – 5PM
I sat down with Chris Baldyga, co-owner and general manager, to chat about 2 Lads Winery.
Q: How many wines have you released this year?
A: We have released nine wines so far this year, and there will be a total of ten or eleven released. We had a goal to create the best red wines and sparkling wines in Michigan, therefore we only use Michigan fruit to produce our wines. You can really taste the difference with Michigan fruit, it sings.
Q: How many of your wines have won awards in the last three years?
A: All of them! However, anyone can win awards. I’m skeptical of the hundreds of competitions and medals given out. If you enter a wine into enough competitions, it’s certain to win sometime. Who cares what the judges think? What I care about are the people who actually drink our wine on a regular basis or want the experience of a Northern Michigan wine. What do they think? That’s what matters.
Q: How does your tasting room work?
A: We aim to make it a more personal experience. We care why you are here and want to get to know you. We want to make this an educational experience for you and we want you to hang out and enjoy the area. Typically, we’ll give six or seven tastings, which are free if you purchase a bottle of wine.
Q: How many customers come through your tasting room each year?
A: It is difficult to know how many come through just our tasting room specifically. 35,000-45,000 come through the wineries of Old Mission Peninsula in general, which is phenomenal. We love that people support our local wineries and want to experience our wine created solely from the fruits of Old Mission.
Q:What makes this winery the best in the state?
A: We care about the experience you get from tasting our wine more than anything else. Like I said, we want to teach people about where the wine came from and how it was made. To know about our wines adds culture to it; it gives it a sense of place, it speaks to people. We have one of the largest sustainable farms in the United States. We are passionate about where our wine is coming from. We had a goal in mind before we started and drove towards it. Few wineries know exactly what they want when they start and just take things as they fall. We knew from the beginning that we wanted the best reds and bubbles in Michigan and haven’t stopped working towards that goal.
~Jennifer Hamilton, Feature Writer