TRAVEL

Black Star Farms

Rustic and Awkward

Having lived on the Central Coast of California, we love wine tasting, but we also know it to be quite an adventure. When we first moved to the Central Coast, wineries and wine tastings were a very casual and free affair. As the area became more well known for its wines, the casual part stayed, but the free went away.

Bill has never quite gotten over the fact that today’s wineries all charge for a tasting, but he’s learned to live with it. We’ve also learned to live with the fact that few wineries are going to be offering up wines as good as we were introduced to in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. That’s especially true, if we’re visiting the wineries in nearby our Texas home in Grapevine.

In Michigan we didn’t know what to expect. Our first winery was Black Star Farms and it was a farm. A white clapboard building with a big covered porch was the tasting room, but one look around told us we’d much prefer to taste our wine on the porch. From the porch we could see barns, holding pens and other rustic sights.

I’m sure the awkwardness was all Covid’s fault, but I got the distinct impression we weren’t altogether welcome there. These days there seem to be doors opened out of necessity, but their occupants wish you’d had the good sense to just stay home. I’m sure a pair of kids also added to the scrutiny we received. There was no way for them to know these kids were perfectly behaved. All in all, I thought the porch would be the best choice for our visit. I love al fresco, but I got the feeling if we hadn’t asked to be on the porch, we would have been told to go out there anyway.

They shooed us out to the porch with papers from which to choose our tastings. There wasn’t much on the paper to help you decide what you wanted, nor did anyone seem interested in helping you out. Eventually they begrudgingly returned to collect our papers and we waited forever for them to deliver our selections. No one ever came back out to check on us either.

The wine itself was actually pretty good and Shad tried some of their other offerings, like bourbon. We took our time enjoying the tasting and the long porch was very pleasant. After a while we decided to move on to the next place, which was a little more exciting.

Would I recommend it? Yes, I would, especially if the pandemic is ever over. I think they might be happier to see you, then, but their product is lovely and porch offers a great place to relax. I hope you’ll join me next week to find out about Mari Vineyards. For now, here’s a few more shots from Black Star Farms.

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