Leelanau Peninsula is one of a series of fingerlike projections extending into Lake Michigan at Grand Traverse Bay. Nearby is the deep glacial Lake Leelanau. From a viticultural point of view, this abundance of water sufficiently moderates the appellation’s climate, delaying the onset of spring until well past the frost-risk period and protecting fall temperatures from sudden plummets. Even so, vineyards in this cold, northern climate experience an average frost-free period of just 145 days. Through the winter, high snowfall prevents deep-freeze ground temperatures, minimizing winter damage to roots. The glacially-deposited soils that form the Leelanau Peninsula are varied, with bedrock mainly of granite and limestone, a clay-based subsoil and top soils of sand and gravelly loam.
From initial vineyard plantings on Whitehall Lane in the 1800's the evolution to today's Whitehall Lane Winery has been a story of vineyard. The first 25 acre vineyard property is the winery site, yet the definition of multiple Napa Valley sub appellations is formed in a wide ranging set of vineyards all showing unique profile and character in their wines.
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