Recently while on my way home from a visit to Michigan, I had the chance to make a quick stop by the Lazy Ballerina Winery tasting room in Bridgman MI. I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren Kniebes, who is co-owner of the winery with Melanie Owen. Lazy Ballerina is the only woman owned winery in Southwest Michigan.
The cousins opened Lazy Ballerina Winery in 2015 in St. Joseph MI, and later moved to their current location, which is much larger. In June 2017 they opened the tasting room in Bridgman, which was expanded in Fall 2021 to make room for their “speakeasy” room, where they can host tastings and small events.
Lazy Ballerina Winery hosts a variety of events at both locations including: tastings, food and wine pairing, craft markets, arts and craft classes, food classes, and entertainment.
“Lazy Ballerina” is a term that refers to a type of trellis system that a wine grapevine is grown on. It is basically a little tilt on the top of the canopy to provide some bunch shading during the hottest part of the day. The two “decided to make the name our own and create a fun, slightly quirky wine brand to appeal to women, dancers (or those that try) and all Michigan wine lovers alike!”
Jason Hayes is the winemaker, and all grapes and fruit are locally sourced from Southwest Michigan. In addition to wine, they have small batch spirits and hard ciders.
Let me share with you the wines I experienced on this visit, along with the producer’s notes, and my purchased selections*.
- Humane White – With each bottle sold, $10 gets donated to the Humane Society of SW Michigan thanks to matching funds from Honor Credit Union! Residual Sugar: 0%
- Pinot Noir* – “A velvety, smooth red with subtle hints of oak and cherry. Lively and versatile. This one makes a great dinner companion. Residual Sugar: 0%“
- Midnight Swan – “A dark, robust Bordeaux style red blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Spread your wings and expand your palate. Residual Sugar: 0%“
- Rye Rouge* – “A Cabernet Franc aged in Rye barrels from Journeyman Distillery for 100 days. Residual Sugar: 0%“
- Barrel Rouge – “Our latest bourbon-barrel aged red is Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 100 days in Evan Williams barrels. Complete with a red wax seal. Residual Sugar: 0%“
I’d like to thank Lauren for her hospitality, and when in Southwestern Michigan again I hope to visit the St. Joseph location.