Chateau Grand Traverse (Traverse City, Michigan, USA)= CGT
Gill’s Pier (Traverse City, Michigan, USA)= GP Now defunct.
Place of origin
CGT: Old Mission Peninsula AVA, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
GP: Leelanau Peninsula AVA, Leelanau County, Michigan, USA (estate)
CGT: Medium gold.
GP: Pale gold
CGT: Rich. Slightly musty, old Riesling aroma when first opened, then peachy all the way through.
GP: Crisp yellow apple, Meyer lemon, lemon thyme.
CGT: Full-bodied, old Riesling feel. Mandarin orange, sage.
GT: Bracing, but still sweet. Tangerine, bottled lemon juice.
CGT: Dry, with a little bitterness.
GP: Cheek-filling tartness. Fades slowly.
Parting words: I got the idea for this head to head when I pulled a wine out of our liquor cabinet to put in our china cabinet for near term-consumption (we have an overly complex three-part staging system for wine in our house). I pulled out the CGT Semi-dry Riesling and then went to move up the bottle below it and noticed it was the Gill’s Pier Semi-dry of the same vintage. I’ve done a lot spirits head to heads, but not many wine ones so I thought this was the perfect opportunity.
I didn’t expect there to be much of a difference between these two, honestly. I was quite surprised at the contrast between two wines made from grapes grown a few miles apart in the same style and year. It’s a testimony to the varied terroir of northwest Michigan and the flexibility of Riesling. CGT is lush and decadent where Gill’s Pier is focused and elegant. If I had to choose one over the other, I would probably opt for Gill’s Pier, but just by a hair. Both are recommended. Unfortunately, Gill’s Pier estate is now an alpaca farm, but Chateau Grand Traverse is still going strong and readily available all over Michigan.