by Rowan Wilson
The best thing you can to foster comradery and teamwork in the workplace is spend time with your co-workers outside of work. Wine also helps! The Riverside Inn, commonly referred to as “The Riv” has always been know for having an extensive wine list, and in recent years has shifted the focus to sustainably produced wines whenever possible. The collection includes both national and international options but many local ones as well.
As a hospitality team we are always working to become more knowledgeable about wines and the winemaking process. The front of the house team attends weekly wine classes to learn about and taste through new offerings or specific styles of wines. This helps us to have a better understanding of the special nuances of each wine and to make complementary pairing suggestions to our guests. It also gives us the opportunity to learn more about each of the wineries and to ask questions along the way.
Recently we had an onsite wine class at Brys Estate and Vineyard where Coenraad Stassen works as head winemaker. Under Coenraad’s guidance and excellence, Brys Estate has earned over 500 medals in national and international wine competitions, including the Jefferson Cup for the 2017 Cabernet Franc Reserve.
Coenraad, pictured above, grew up in the Western Cape of South Africa among noteworthy vines in the Cape Town wine region. He honed his excellence in the Klein Karoo Region, a semi-arid wine-producing region and later joined the international exchange program through Ohio State in 2003. He now calls the Old Mission Peninsula and Traverse City his home. Brys Estate is known for their high quality dry reds, their crisp, clean production of whites and of course, their signature frose´. Opened in 2005, Brys Estate spans over 100 acres, one of the largest contiguous winery estates on Old Mission Peninsula.
One of the most interesting opportunites we had while visiting Brys was to tour their cellar where thousands of gallons of wine is stored before being bottled. This behind-the-scenes experience was facinating and one we're excited to share with our guests who are looking for a quality local suggestion. In addition to touring the cellar and winery, we also tasted some of the Brys Estate wines with the aim of selecting some additonal Brys wines to add to our menu in the fall.
Server Heidi Weisen and Manager Jen Karek cool down by sipping on Brys signature blend of Riesling and Pinot Noir - making the most delicious frose´.
The Riverside Inn currently offers the 2019 Signature Rose´, the 15th anniversary Rose´ Bubbly, and the 2017 Reserve Cabernet Franc. Watch for new Brys Estate wines on our list, and be sure to ask your server about our visit to Brys next time you're in.