Founded in 1998, Black Star Farms has become a true one-of-a-kind destination nestled among the scenic rolling hills of the Leelanau Peninsula. The internationally acclaimed wines, distinctive Inn, decadent wine-paired culinary events, and unparalleled hospitality have become a unique way for wine lovers to retreat to the heart of Northern Michigan Wine Country.
Today, the estate features a hillside vineyard that welcomes you upon arrival, a luxury Inn, unique event venues, an award-winning winery and tasting room, a distillery, a farm-to-table café, an equestrian facility, and hiking trails.
In 2007, Black Star Farms Old Mission opened in what used to be the popular Underwood Farms. It now houses a state-of-the-art wine processing/distilling facility and cozy tasting room surrounded by views of vineyards, orchards, and Grand Traverse Bay. The Wineries at Black Star Farms have achieved state, national, and international awards for their exceptional wines and spirits.
Our region is fast becoming recognized for producing fine wines. Liquor.com named Leelanau Peninsula one of the 8 Stunning Wine Regions to Discover in 2017. The “lake effect” climate enables the growth of classic vinifera grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. Black Star Farms varietal wines are regionally expressive and of high character. Our fruit is sourced from the proprietor’s vineyards and our local grower partners on Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas. This diversity allows us to obtain consistent quality across vintages. Our wines reflect this quality, from the premium Arcturos label to our sparkling and fruit wines, and represent the best efforts of our skilled winemaking team.
Black Star Farms Mission
To create a destination experience with world-class standards in which visitors and guests are provided with artisan products and services in a fun and educational environment.
In all instances, demonstrate high morals, ethics, and humility. Exhibit a servant’s heart.
We invite you to ignite your senses! Take in the beauty of our property, then relax at the Inn, waking to the smells of a farm-fresh breakfast that awaits you. Sample our award-winning wines at our friendly and spacious tasting room, then grab lunch at our Bistro Polaris. Experience an elegant Arcturos Dinner or get some fresh air by hiking our onsite trails. There is so much to discover at Black Star Farms. Plan your trip today!
“It’s hard to argue with a great business plan, incredible wine, attention to detail and a sense of Michigan pride.”
John Gonzalez, mLive, Michigan’s Best Winery
“Nestled in the heart of Michigan wine country, the Inn at Black Star Farms offers a unique experience for all guests.”
Hotel Showdown, The Travel Channel
“The distilled spirits business demands a steep learning curve, so an experienced hand like Black Star Farms stands out among the many new and aspiring spirits makers.
Black Star Farms’ success with achieving two Washington Cups is nonetheless remarkable. Only six were given out among the nearly one hundred thirty spirits in the competition.”
~ Doug Frost, 2014 Washington Cup
“At Black Star Farms sip an amazing Late Harvest Riesling, a handful of reds and pick up a bottle of the coveted A Capella Riesling Ice Wine which the White House paired with a huckleberry Cobbler with caramel ice cream at the Governors dinner in February.”
Traverse City-MyNorth Vacation Guide
“Black Star Farms – This rambling agri-estate with the bright red barns has an onsite CSA garden, creamery with award-winning raclette cheese, a petting farm, winery and distillery. Step into the soaring-ceilinged tasting room for the Cab Franc, Late Harvest Riesling, Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay and spectacular dessert wines starring Up North fruits and forages: cherry, pear and maple.”
“Wine Country” Leelanau-MyNorth Vacation Guide
“Michigan’s climate gives winemakers a chance at growing this coveted but difficult European grape variety. The Black Star Farms Arcturos Pinot Noir 2006, $25 at the winery, is a considerable achievement for winemaker Lee Lutes. It has vibrant aromas of cherries, blackberries, dark plums and vanilla, which are mirrored on the palate. The color is a deep ruby, and the style is more Burgundian than California. It’s delicious.”
Sandra Silfven, Detroit News
“Be sure to stop at: Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay. “
Jerry Shriver, “Riesling rising, and more” USA Today
“There’s nothing else in the area quite like Black Star Farms…The winery and distillery, under the direction of winemaker Lee Lutes, produces an amazing variety of libations, from sparkling hard cider to table wines, dessert wines, fruit wines and eau de vie (bone-dry fruit brandies).”
Donna Marchetti “Weekending in North Country” The Wine Buzz
“We stayed at the fabulous Inn at Black Star Farms. If you are looking for a place to have a destination wedding, spend a night or two of your honeymoon, or relax for an anniversary celebration, be sure to consider Black Star Farms.”
Tami @ September’s Bride blog
“One of the trail’s most memorable properties combines wine, luxury and agricultural tourism at Black Star Farms near Suttons Bay. Tiers of trellised grape vines ring Black Star Farms’ winding entrance before giving way to the farms’ iconic Kentucky-style estate home. In the adjacent winery/cheese shop, guests watch as vintners and cheese-makers ply their crafts.”
Todd Dulaney, “45th Parallel Finds” AAA Living Michigan
“The Leelanau Tour highlights four fantastic vineyards along the peninsula and culminates at the revered Black Star Farms where tour-goers get to watch old-fashioned wine-making and cheese-making in their natural habitats. Indulge in handcrafted samples… ”
Meredith Rose, “Fall in Love: The Romantic Autumnal Side of Northern Michigan” Northern Express Weekly October 4, 2007
“You travel up to Black Star Farms and see vines on each side of the road, a manor house and horses grazing on the field. You drink wine with homemade cheeses. It’s outstanding.”
Larry Weis, CEO of AutoCom Associates of Bloomfield Hills, MI quoted by Maureen McDonald Crain’s Detroit Business Into the grape: Michigan’s wineries a popular destination for wine lovers
“Tomorrow’s task: to judge 365 wines. With six tables of four judges apiece, that’s an average of 61 wines each judge gets to taste. But tonight was dedicated to socializing, as early-arriving judges gathered at the State Room in MSU’s Kellogg Center for dinner, accompanied by a sampling of Michigan wines. “Wow!” was the collective reaction to 2006 Rieslings from Black Star Farms”
Joel Goldberg “The Crowd Begins to Gather” www.michwine.com
“Black Star Farms is one of Michigan’s finest wineries. Their wines are consistently excellent in both reds and whites. Black Star is an outstanding example of how Michigan has become one of the better wine producing regions of the world.”
“‘What we lack in heat we make up for in summer sunlight because we are so far north,’ says Lee Lutes, winemaker at Black Star Farms, which produces wines and spirits solely with fruit grown on and within 20 miles of the estate. The visitor-friendly compound includes stables, a creamery, tasting room, and an eight-room plantation-style inn where the best suites have fireplaces.
From Black Star’s open-trussed tasting room, tipplers can watch Anne and John Hoyt make their award-winning cheese, most of which is sold to picnic-packing travelers…
But if provisioning is the chief reason to weekend in Leelanau, picnicking is its prime reward. Hike into Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with a crusty baguette from Stone House Bread Cafe in Leland, a wedge of the Hoyt’s Raclette, a bottle of Black Star Farm merlot cabernet, and, of course, lots of cherries to top it off.”
Elaine Glusac National Geographic Traveler, July/August 2007, page 123, The Long Weekend “Hitting Pay Dirt in Northern Michigan”
“The Leelenau’s 13 wineries include the large Black Star, where visitors sample pinot noir and the winery’s own brandy and cheeses under the high, domed roof of a sun-drenched shop and tasting room.”
Beth Greenfield “Michigan’s Wine Country Grows Where the Cherry is King” The New York Times
“Wine Business Monthly has identified today’s most exciting top 10 brands from small and medium-sized wineries during 2006. 9. Black Star Farms Food-friendly (2005 Arcturos) Riesling Out of the Midwest.”
Wine Business Monthly January 16, 2007
“The 112-guest country affair was filled with special touches that reflected the couple’s personality. The winery offered the perfect balance of natural beauty and elegance, ‘a classy but not stuffy atmosphere,’ says (bride) Lori.”
“The patio at Black Star Farms provides the perfect backdrop for pre-wedding photos of Jay and his groomsmen.”
Style the magazine
“Then there are the world-class Rieslings of Michigan. Peninsula Cellars, Chateau Grand Traverse, and Black Star Farms are but three superstars. ”
Dan Berger “Riesling Rebirth” Appelationamerica.com
“Far and away, the best cider out of more than a dozen I tried came from Michigan’s Black Star Farms Winery… the Black Star Farms cider was the only one that achieved that key characteristic of good vino – the long finish. ”
Rating: “Very Good” “Without aping champagne, this cider succeeds as a delightful alternative.”
Eric Felten, Wall Street Journal
“Black Star Farms seems more a vision of Kentucky’s horse country than Leelanau County. The winery boasts not only a state-of-the-art tasting room with a soaring wood-beamed ceiling but also an adjoining creamery that serves as home to the Leelanau Cheese Co. Stables are located right across the drive. There’s a barnyard full of farm animals, including chickens whose freshly laid eggs are served at breakfast. The Inn at Black Star Farms sports an imposing colonnaded front that opens onto a two-story lobby. Eight guestrooms named after stars in the northern sky are reached at the top of a staircase so sweepingly grand you feel a little like Scarlet O’Hara every time you descend.”
Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune
“We would like to share a menu from a Social Luncheon hosted by President and Mrs. Bush in honor of Congressman John Dingell, at which we served the Arcturos Pinot Gris, vintage 2004. The Evergreen Tomato Bisque with Leek Fondue and the Great Lakes Walleye Pike with Butternut Squash Risotto were a great stage for the clean fruit and exuberant structure of the Pinot Gris.”
Letter from Daniel Shanks, Ushers Office, The White House
“Wines of exceptional value for money, whether they are inexpensive or not”
Tom Stevenson The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia Fourth Edition, (2005)
“Please enjoy this menu from a Dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Bush, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, at which we served the Black Star Farms ‘Sirius Maple.’ (It) proved to be a delightful finish to a memorable evening.”
Letter from Daniel Shanks, Ushers Office, The White House
“(Lee) Lutes of Black Star Farms is among dozens of dedicated winemakers who are making waves within a tiny sector of the fine-wine community that understands and appreciates dedication to improving the art of cold-climate winemaking.”
Dan Berger – On Wine Napa News
“Black Star’s top wines, I thought, were the light, high-acid but still properly earthy and peppery 2000 Arcturos Pinot Noir and the sensational 2000 A Capella Riesling Ice Wine”
R. W. Apple Jr. The New York Times
“Black Star’s A Cappella Riesling Ice Wine is a knockout, as well as a fascinating Pinot Noir under the Arcturos Label.”
Doug Frost, San Francisco Chronicle
Black Star Farms Riesling Ice Wine A Capella 2000 – Score 87
Remarkably thick, lots of cream, pineapple and quince. Sweet, slightly heavy, maple syrup and caramel finish.
James Molesworth’s Top Scoring US Regional Wines Wine Spectator
“Lee Lutes (of Black Star Farms) will become the first Michigan vintner to present wine at the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville, OR….among the year’s top events for “wine geeks” with only 100 vintners allowed to take part.”
Edward Hoogterp Ann Arbor News Bureau
“We would like to share a menu and program from a Dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Bush, honoring the Governors of the States and Territories, at which we served the Black Star Farms A Capella Riesling Ice Wine, vintage 2000. The wine’s boundless fruit and firm, elegant structure were very well received.”
Letter from Daniel Shanks, Ushers Office, The White House