Left Foot Charley’s Swiss Family Dinner


Left Foot Charley, located at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, is one of Michigan’s first urban wineries. What makes LFC unique is that they have a collective of 18 growers throughout Northern Michigan. The grapes are transported from the various small-scale vineyards to the winery, where they are  transformed into award-winning wines. Just 1 mile from Downtown Traverse City, Left Foot Charley is bustling with activity and bursting at the seems with grapes during the harvest season.

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My favorite wine, Left Foot Charley’s Pinot Blanc, is the star of the Annual Swiss Family Dinner, along with the dedicated growers of this grape varietal, Werner and Margrit Kuehnis. Gathered together at the table like family, we enjoyed glasses of the last two vintages of Pinot Blanc and even received the first taste of 2013.


Werner & Margrit served us a traditional Swiss Dinner, complete with authentic raclette. The cheese melting contraption that I curiously guessed would be given some outlandish name, was simply called a “cheese melter.” I like that! Why over complicated something so simple? The wheel of raclette was spun around and carved, warm and bubbling onto our plates piled with food.


The cheese was poured overtop fresh baked bread, fingerling potatoes, artichokes, green beans and ham. All this along side a fresh salad, incredibly delicious cheese crackers and plates piled high with fruit.


Imagine a dinner like this paired with three vintages of Pinot Blanc. Not only is it an enjoyable experiment to taste the variety and seasonal difference between each vintage, but the wine itself is so perfectly paired with the salty cheese and fresh vegetables. I just loved it. Left Foot Charley’s Pinot Blanc has the perfect tart citrus flavor balanced by sweetness that’s not only delicious but incredibly refreshing.


Our gracious hosts, Werner & Margrit are very diligent and focused growers who work hard to produce the perfect grapes. You can learn more about their vineyard located on Old Mission Peninsula by visiting LFC’s website. Or stop by Left Foot Charley to taste the wine for yourself and perhaps you’ll run into Werner. He frequents the winery, savoring delicious Pinot Blanc made from the grapes he pours his heart & soul into.


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