The inspiration for a winery’s name can come from anywhere, from its location to its founders to its roots as a dairy farm.
At Soul Squeeze Cellars on the Leelanau Peninsula, it came from the owners’ experience with the challenges of growing grapes.
Co-owners Luke and Faye Pickelman started planting grapes about 12 years ago. They came from the professional world — he was a lawyer, and she was an accountant — and found farming to be a very different venture.
“What we found with farming which was new to us,” Luke Pickelman says, “was how much is out of your control, how much you rely on the environment, the weather, the health, the soil. Everything coming together — it’s not so much you doing it as it is this almost divine nature to winemaking.
“All these things have to come together. And we learned that in a real direct way over the last decade or so.”
The Pickelmans like to tell visitors to the winery that “to get the product that you see on our shelves, in the tasting room, in the bottle, to get that to that point from planting your first vine, is a very soul-squeezing process.”
The winery’s name highlights the hard work and faith necessary for winemaking.
“What we really want is people to really appreciate what’s in that bottle and where it comes from,” Pickelman says.
Learn more about Soul Squeeze Cellars — and shop for its wines — at soulsqueezecellars.com.