The farm behind Harwood Gold in Charlevoix, Michigan has been in the Parson family since 1898 and they've been making maple syrup every year. For most of that time it's been for family use, or just sold locally. Last year we became one of the first places outside northern Michigan to get a bottle.
They have 1,500 taps pulling sap from their grove of pure sugar maples. For generations the Parsons have been weeding out any saplings that aren't maple in the old-school belief that having only maple root systems around makes for a better tasting syrup. You be the judge.
The sap starts flowing in late February or early March depending on weather and the runs for about two or three weeks. When the trees start budding the sap changes and starts to taste different so, compared to many, they cut their season very short to get the flavor they'd like.
Not too heavy, not too light, sweet with a disctincively pleasant woody nose, it's everyone's choice for maple syrup around Zingerman's these days.