Boskydel Vineyard announces closing after 42 years

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Boskydel Vineyard, begun in 1965 when former library director Bernie Rink read “American Wines and Winemaking,” comes to a close by the end of the year, the owners said.

“Effective Jan. 1, 2018, we will cease winery and tasting room operations,” the staff posted on Facebook. “After 42 years, we feel that we have fulfilled our original purpose and it’s time to pursue other interests. The vineyard operations will continue and leasing options are available for anyone interested.”

Bernie Rink bought 16 acres in Leelanau County and started the vineyard with his five sons. By 1975, they established the first commercial wine vineyard in northern Michigan, according to the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. His “real mission is to bring good quality wines to ordinary people at reasonable cost,” the vineyard’s website said.

Two of the sons, Jim and Andy, have been carrying on ownership, but have decided to pursue other interests.

“Like any small, family-owned business, it requires a lot of love and attention. The love part is easy, but as I find myself getting older and having grandkids, I find my attention increasingly divided,” said Jim Rink. “I can’t speak for Andy, but I really do think it’s time to pursue other interests. Boskydel has served its purpose well and its legacy will live on.”

Boskydel’s wine is made from grapes grown from French-American hybrid vines and have always been 100 percent estate-bottled, according to the Boskydel Vineyard website.

The winery varietals includes a Vignoles, Soleil Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Vin Blanc, deChaunac, Rose de Chaunac, Rose des Rouges and Rose du Cru.

The vineyard bottles about 6,500 gallons a year and has a small tasting room on-site, the website said. Each bottle ranges from $8.75 to $12.75.

“As a special thank you to our loyal customers, we will be offering a ‘summer of savings!’ Starting in July, you can now save 40 percent on all case purchases,” the staff posted.

The winery and Rink are local legends, attracting wine-lovers from all over Michigan. In 1985, Gov. James Blanchard formed the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, of which Rink was a founding member.

“If you grow good grapes, the wine will make itself,” Rink said on the website.

Boskydel Vineyard is open 1-5 p.m. daily at 7501 E. Otto Road, Lake Leelanau.