By Ryan Yuenger
ryany@wsjm.com

Love may be blind, but the producers of a Top 10 Netflix series weren’t when they chose a southwest Michigan location as a setting for one of their episodes.

Lemon Creek Winery in Berrien Springs was featured in the latest season of Love Is Blind: After the Altar, which premiered on Netflix Last Friday and is currently the No. 8 most popular show in the world, according to . The episode was filmed in March, and shows off Lemon Creek as the reality show stars enjoy a wine tasting.

Lemon Creek’s Kait Lemon said the cast and crew of about 35-40 people were filming for about four hours, which translated to about seven minutes of show time inside the winery. The cast came in on Baroda’s Fruitful Vine Tours trailer, and got the full southwest Michigan wine tasting experience, according to Lemon.

“It’s kind of a big deal for our little region to be featured,” Lemon said. “I think it goes to show that our area has really stepped up on a national scale that Michigan wines are no longer to be ‘poo-poo’d’ at. Going to a Michigan winery is as acceptable on TV now as it is to go to a California winery. That’s probably the coolest thing for us and for the region.”

Lemon also made sure to single out Fruitful Vines owner Dan Madden.

“He did a fabulous job of accommodating everyone at the show and did most of the behind the scenes work,” Lemon said. “He’s one of the biggest and best in the area and caters to real wine drinkers.”

One of the featured wines in the episode , was the Lemon Creek’s Blanc De Blanc dry champagne, and Lemon said some of the cast and crew took some bottles back with them.

There has also been a noticeable increase in attention, both locally and across the country. Since last week’s premiere, Lemon said there have been a number of orders coming in from across the country, including from California. Locals also have been emailing the winery to make sure their eyes weren’t deceiving them.

“It’s been fun to see the domino effect,” Lemon said. “This show could have gone anywhere.”

For her part in the show, Lemon said the notoriety felt weird, but was thrilled to represent the region, which has at least a dozen wineries in Berrien County alone.

“It’s exciting to let the world know [about this region], Lemon said. “I think in the last five years, the Lake Michigan coastline has really become a destination now just for Chicago or Detroit people, but for people across the country. I think they are realizing we’ve got these untouched beaches, clear water, wineries, breweries and everything else. It’s finally making its way across the United States that this is a great place to go travel. It’s kind of awesome to watch the tide turn.”

(Images courtesy Lemon Creek)