Left Foot Charley was created in 2004. Winemaker Bryan Ulbrich was called to a favorite vineyard which had been recently sold to a new owner. It was sliding quickly into a state of disaster. The excessive growth, negligent canopy management, and impending powdery mildew attack were too much to bear. With the somewhat bridled, yet honest support of his wife Jennifer, he canceled their vacation to work in this vineyard and save the Riesling. In exchange, he was able to harvest a small crop and create a single dry Riesling.
Through the process, the Left Foot concept was formed. Throughout Northern Michigan, there are numerous small vineyards owned and farmed by individuals who do not have wineries. The grapes were often sent to giant blends. Many of these viticulturists are excellent farmers and deserve to see their work turned into wine. Left Foot Charley has teamed up with Northern Michigan’s best 18 growers to produce wines that display the range of aroma and flavor found among the glacially tilled hills of our appellations. Lake effect, soil composition, vineyard aspect, and grower mentality shape these flavors individually. Each vineyard sells only to LFC and the commitments go beyond simple cash per ton arrangements. Through mutually established goals, their farms are defining terroir in our appellations. Our goal is to bring their work to the bottle.
The winery has since grown to around 6000 cases and is located in the former Northern Michigan Asylum in Traverse City, Michigan. The urban environment has served to bring the terror to the people. LFC is a Michigan version of an Austrian Heuriger – a place where aromatic and flavorful wine is an everyday event. Locals and visitors alike have come to realize that the non-traditional setting pairs perfectly with the atypical fruit sourcing and old-style wine making that defines LFC. Left Foot has a committed a focus on white wine varietals, hard cider, and sparkling wine.
Our space is quite unique. As the only urban winery in the region, Left Foot Charley offers an opportunity to experience wine country right in the heart of Traverse City. Our spacious wine garden patio sits beneath towering trees along a gurgling creek and offers a rare outdoor meeting place in TC. The modern industrial design is softened by vibrant plants, warm colors and the most friendly service around. It is truly an Asylum – a place of peace.
806 Red Drive #100
Traverse City, MI 49684
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
NOTE: The content and images were barowed from the Left Foot Charley website. Please visit them directly at http://www.leftfootcharley.com/