As Mark mentioned over on his blog, we had a day of adventures in the country last Friday. First we went to have lunch at Crane's Pie Pantry:
The Entrance to Crane's Pie Pantry
Crane's makes all their own pies, preserves, apple cider, etc. from their own orchards, which surround the shop for acres and acres. Mark and I enjoyed their home-made apple cider (like drinking an apple!), their home-made apple butter bread (awesome), and their pies (sublime). Mark had blueberry pie, and I had the apple.
Here we are, enjoying our repast:
As you can see from the photo, the restaurant is filled with all kinds of vintage Americana. But the main attraction is the food: deee-lish!
Along the way, we also did some sight-seeing: We went down and walked along the Kalamazoo River, and looked out over the fens that (presumably) gave Fennville its name.
From Crane's pie pantry, we proceeded down the road to the Fenn Valley Vineyards. There we imbibed a fair amount of the grape. Michigan has quite a respectable and growing wine industry. Fenn Valley is one of the best examples of this. They have a Riesling that would hold its own against anything from Washington State or Germany, and a Meritage ('04 to be released this July 8) that compares favorably to many good Bordeaux I have drunk. Mark especially liked their Port (while a Ruby, it has reminiscences of a Tawny), as did I.
Mark Enjoying a Little Nip
Where'er a Catholic sun doth shine,
there's always laughter and good red wine.
At least I've always found it so.
— Hilaire Belloc
I had a couple of bottles sent home to Mark to remember his visit by. So we ate, we saw some scenery, we drank, and a good time was had by all!
Next installment: things get ugly...