Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Karma Vista Vineyards

The first southwest Michigan winery we chose to visit was Karma Vista Vineyard in Coloma. Why did we choose this one? Corny as it sounds, the names of the wines are what intrigued us. Names like "Starry, Starry, White", "Pink Side of the Moon", and "Stone Temple Pinot" sounded just charming!

Coloma is just 16 miles from St. Joseph which amounted to a 20 minute drive for us. We were there in no time. It's in the heart of Michigan's "fruit belt" where apples, grapes, peaches, and other tasty fruits grow in abundance and glory.

As I recall, I've only visited one winery before and that was the Beringer Vineyard in the Napa Valley of California. I guess my expectations for Karma Vista were a bit high given that Beringer's was my source of reference. Not that I was expecting anything on that scale mind you, but I was expecting an actual tour of the vineyards and the wine making process. That didn't happen at Karma Vista. Visiting Karma Vista amounts to visiting a sales office for their wine. A nice office, for sure, but no "tours" to be had. I was disappointed with that but it was my only disappointment of the day.

Karma Vista's "tasting room" is located on a hill with a small parking lot off to the side.

When you enter the facility, you find a bistro-type area to the right,

and the sales and tasting area to the left.

We went right first where we found a door to the balcony that looks over the vineyards and orchards. This is the panorama view we took in.

Harvest time isn't until the fall but we saw people at work in vineyards already.

After taking in the view, we went back inside to browse and taste.

Stepping up to the bar, we were offered a taste of up to 6 wines of our choosing starting with the drier wines and moving on to the sweetest dessert wines. I chose, "Starry, Starry, White", "Watusi Red", "Pink Side of the Moon", "Ryno Red", "Cherri Amour", and "Raz M'Tazz" (probably not in that order ;-) . I'm a big fan of sweet wines and fruit wines so these were really delightful. I liked them all but my favorites, and the ones we brought home with us, were "Starry, Starry, White", "Watusi Red", and Raz M'Tazz (made with a pound of raspberries in every bottle!).

The gentleman pouring was friendly and funny. He's a natural at his game. We enjoyed his banter as much as the wine. The view was as wonderful to take in as the vintage. All in all it was a trip worth taking and we'll definitely be back in the fall for harvest time, if not before.

I'm told the southwest Michigan wineries excel in fruity-sweet wines. That being the case, I expect to be a happy lush by fall :-)

I recommend Karma Vista Vineyards to you. The wines are delish, the names are clever, and if you were coming of age in the 1960s or 70s you'll appreciate the memories they bring.

Karma Vista Vineyards & Winery
6991 Ryno Road
Coloma, Michigan 49038

269.468.WINE (9463)