From home to heaven: a vining journey

Aaron and Sandy Sedine are in heaven, at least from their point of view. They're the proud proprietors of Heavenly Vineyards, a new winery in Morley. While still a start-up business, the Sedines are well on their way to being a wine destination in the Grand Rapids area.

Aaron, an engineer by education, and Sandy, a high school art teacher, have been making wine at home for more than 10 years. Friends and family kept asking for more and more wine. After a year of preparation, the Sedines opened their winery in April of 2012. Not only is Aaron the winemaker, he also built the winery. Now that's "hands on" ownership. Using his skills as a mechanical engineer came naturally for him in building this labor of love.

As Sandy says, "We really, really love wine. Making it, selling it and yes, drinking it as well. The winemaking just outgrew our house. We wanted to bring something different to the neighborhood."

Heavenly Vineyards produces a wide variety of wines, especially for a two-person operation. From wines made with a single varietal grape, to blends of different varietals, to flavored wines, the choices are intriguing. Also available are fruit wines, including their best seller, lemon wine. Yes, a wine made from 100 percent lemons tops the charts at Heavenly Vineyards.  

An excellent example of marketing prowess, the "Big G" wine is 100 percent Gewurztraminer, a hard grape name for many of us to pronounce. Another white varietal wine is Valley White, composed of a variety of white grapes. Both of these have a bit of spice on the nose and are refreshingly fruity.

Moving to the red wines, Rusty Red is a "wine made in the style of Italian Barolos, a complex, intense wine perfect for pairing with grilled meats," according to Sandy. The VCR wine (no, not like the vintage recording units) stands for Vieux Chateau du Roi. This red blend is full-bodied with oaky notes throughout the palate.

Fruit wines are the most popular wines at Heavenly Vineyards. Six different wines made solely from fruit are available to tempt your tastebuds. The peach wine is currently sold out--what does that tell you? Tart cherries make another fruit wine that is currently available. Rhubarb wine, a classic from years past, and strawberry wine, perfect to pair with strawberry shortcake, are also in the lineup.

One of the most unusual wines around these parts is Viridity. Viridity is produced from the Gewurztraminer grape, but has green apple added. Unique to Michigan, this is a wine that stands alone and is worth a try.

Rounding out the offerings are a couple of dessert wines. A very popular wine is BlackJack. Made from 100 percent Michigan black cherries, it's reminiscent of cherry brandy. Flavors of chocolate, mocha, and black cherry jam fill your mouth with a lingering, round finish. Let's get technical here; this wine is yummy. Diamond Drops is an ice-style wine that is very sweet.  Serve it with a peach cobbler or all by itself for dessert.

A wonderful example of a passion turning a profit, Heavenly Vineyards is a welcome addition to the Western Michigan wine scene. Stop by and say hello to Aaron and Sandy soon.

Michael Schafer Esq., The Wine Counselor®, writes, speaks and teaches about wine and food. He is a Sommelier, C.S.W. (Certified Specialist of Wine), who entertains while educating.  His humorous and fun approach to wine is reflected in his trademark phrase, "I taste bad wine so you don't have to"® Contact him by email or on Facebook.
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