A smile and a friendly voice welcome guests to Burgdorf’s Winery, a cozy and comfortable establishment in, of all places, Haslett, MI. But the surprise of it being there in the first place is part of its charm, swiftly followed by the sight of wine casks and a feeling of being far removed from the hustle of the state Capitol about ten miles away.
“People are pleasantly surprised, like ‘Oh my gosh, we have a winery!’” said Dave Burgdorf, who owns and operates the business with his wife, Deb.
The shop boasts a variety of wines, ranging from pinot grigio to the winery’s specialty, appropriately named Perfection. This dessert wine, a smooth blend of raspberry and cherry, recently won the Concordance Gold Award in the fruit wine category at the Indy International Wine Competition — the highest honor in the contest. The wine is delicate yet rich and just sweet enough, without being overwhelming.
The winery opened in 2005 and provides a host of services in addition to wine. Guests can make their own wines with the help of the expertise of the Burgdorfs or simply have a custom label made for a special occasion. To create your own wine, Burgdorfs invite customers to come in for a tasting to determine what kind of wine they want to create. The selection offers everything from a traditional chardonnay to a black raspberry merlot. After the wine is chosen, there is a brief gathering to get the wine started under the Burgdorf’s guidance. About six weeks later, the wine is ready, and customers are invited to bring family and friends to share in a celebratory tasting. Private wine tastings also are available for $20 per person.
Deb holds a B.S. in microbiology and has a background in fermentation. Dave has a B.S. in agriculture, which proved invaluable as they shifted from making wines as a pastime to producing if for sale, Deb said.
“[We opened the winery] when we became empty nesters — we’re not ones to sit still,” she said. “So we took our hobby and turned it into a business.”
Deb said seeing people enjoy the wine is one of the most rewarding aspects of the business.
“[It’s] just spending time with people when they’re happy, seeing people when they taste our wine,” she said. “It’s like an artist with a painting … more than a business, it’s an art … with quite a bit of science.”
The creative process and teaching people how to taste wine are some of Dave’s favorite parts of owning the winery.
“[Another is] taking new materials and making something out of it — seeing people enjoy the wine we create, and working with my wife,” he said. “We’re able to teach people how to taste wine. Our slogan is ‘a moment in wine,’ when they start to pick it out — it lets us teach people so when they do [learn] they appreciate [wine] more.”
Although the fruit for the wine isn’t grown on the property, Burgdorf’s makes it a point to purchase from Michigan producers.
“Having grown up on a farm, I know fruits,” Dave Burgdorf said. “It’s important to get as much out of the fruit as you can. It’s a precious treasure of the earth.”
The husband and wife duo have been making wine for more than 25 years. Their experience and passion shine through their exemplary service, welcoming atmosphere and exquisite wine collection.
Wednesday – Sunday, 12-5 p.m.
5635 Shoeman Rd., Haslett