To most, Michigan might seem like America’s high five, the mitten state, or a state in the north that really tries to be like the south. When I ventured ‘up north’ (a relative term for anything north of Grand Rapids), I discovered Michigan Wine Country. I was in for a surprise.
The Traverse city area is beginning to be known for their wines. There are vineyards (and breweries) popping up everywhere. A lot of the vineyards only produce enough bottles for wine tastings and bottle distribution directly from the vineyard. That means there is no other way to taste this wine other than from the source. There are a handful of vineyards that distribute to the entirety of Michigan as well.
Countless trips have been made to this region with the Leelanau Peninsula being our favorite area. Here are our 5 favourite vineyards!
There are many vineyards in a concentrated area and they work with their competition rather than fighting each other. There is a union between most of the vineyards and they are distribute a Wine Trail Map, with locations and descriptions of stop along the way. There are buses, biking tours, and other mass transit that go between these places and it has become a hot spot over the last few years.
Bikes + Wine
We have our own bikes and a bike rack, so on many occasions… we have done our own biking wine tour.
*Please note that this area is full of hills and is often windy. Please look at the distance between vineyards and access before you set out on a bicycle. Maxwell and I made this mistake once and accidentally biked 41 miles.*
We always wear our helmets for safety 🙂
Michigan is not known for its great weather but for some reason this area is commonly an oasis. We have been there in various months, seasons, and times, and somehow it always is beautiful. There are a few key spots that make you question if you are in the Midwest or if you are in South Africa/France/Italy/Chile.
Unfortunately, unlike South Africa’s wine tasting, each tasting does typically cost $1 a pour or 5 tastings for $5. But in an effort to justify us spending a ton of money on wine, it would be roughly $5 for a glass (5oz) at a restaurant anyway. Support Local Businesses!
Northern Michigan might not be famous to people outside of Michigan, but this place is deeply special to us as a couple. As Maxwell described in Petoskey, it is where our relationship went from just a relationship to a lifelong commitment.