Every Vine, Every Guest, Treasured.
The heavy clay soils of the Modales Glenn Vineyard produce some stunning, fleshy, full-bodied wines. Located less than a mile and a half off the stunning shores of Lake Michigan, the Glenn Vineyard is the birthplace of Modales Wines. The same heavy clay soils that give the Glenn Wines unique depth and structure are equally responsible for making the vineyard a challenge to farm. Amid the wet springs, the vineyard becomes impassable and during the hot, dry summers, the vineyard surface dries out and hardens up. This makes a proper irrigation schedule a necessity to keep the fruit and vines from wilting, dehydrating and dying. Then with the return of the cool, crisp fall mornings also comes more rain, creating an added challenge to the already frantic atmosphere of harvest. Like most tortured souls however, the fruit refined by this fire is truly something exceptional and unique, producing big, bold, more rounded wines much like the character of the clay itself.
We own and operate two farms on which we currently have 40 acres of wine grapes planted.
Our 37 acre farm on 114th Avenue, located approximately 4 miles from the winery as the crow flies, was planted to 24 acres of wine grapes in 2006. Located just 1.25 miles inland from Lake Michigan, this site experiences significant climatic moderation due to heavy lake effect. Heavy clay soils make this farm difficult to manage even with drain tiling and the use of rootstocks resistant to “wet feet.” There is a silver lining however, these struggles allow us to harvest fruit that results in concentrated, mineral-driven wines with weight and nobility.
Our 75 acre farm at the winery, located approximately 3.5 miles inland from Lake Michigan was formerly a stone fruit farm. We planted 16 acres of wine grapes in 2020, and our first grapes will be harvested in 2022. By 2024, we plan to have 30 acres of wine grapes planted, which will bring this estate’s production to approximately 7,000 cases. Being sandier in soil composition, and a couple miles further inland, we expect this vineyard to produce markedly different wines that are more lively, with brighter fruit character.
Vineyard (114th) early property history
The house sitting on our vineyard in Glenn was known for generations as “The Old Corwin Place”, built over 100 years ago. Not much is known about the Corwins, but they were one of the earliest families established in the area. Around 1966, Howard and Joyce Paquin purchased the house and property. The house itself was very run down, it had no plumbing or electricity, and the windows were broken so they completely refurbished the home. Their son John planted a peach orchard on their extensive property. Howard loved to drive his car down into the orchard to sit and watch the cars whiz by on the adjacent highway, I-196, which was built in the early ‘60s. The Paquins were in the insurance business, with an office located in downtown Glenn. The property went through other owners and was eventually planted with nearly 26 acres of grape vines. It was purchased by our owners in 2014.
Winery/Tasting room (62nd) property history
The land where our winery and tasting room is located was previously owned by the Wadsworth family, who were early area pioneers and pillars of the community. Their family resided in other Ganges township locations throughout the years, but when they lived here the land was filled with peach and cherry orchards. Mr. Wadsworth bought the property in 1934 for $3,400.
James Wadsworth and his family were the second family to settle in Ganges township, and one of the first settlers to break soil and plant crops in the late 1830’s. Before the first school in the area (Peachbelt School) was built in 1867, children were taught in the Wadsworth home.
According to the 1875 agriculture census, the Wadsworths owned 80 acres and produced 200 bushels of onions, 210 bushels of White Belgian carrots; owned 73 Merino sheep, some “good, well-bred cows”, and shipped 1,200 baskets of peaches. L.D. Wadsworth was one of the first directors of the Fennville Fruit company, formed in 1897 as a cooperative marketer of the area’s fruit.
When the property was purchased by our owners in 2016, there were three migrant cottages located right next to the current tasting room, which housed seasonal workers and their families for decades. To preserve the history and integrity of the property, we saved much of the building materials when the cottages were taken down, including the wooden walls, roofing, bottles and other miscellany left by former inhabitants. The wood you see in our tasting rooms that covers our walls incorporates that same wood.
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