Welcome to America’s fresh coast!
You may already know about Michigan’s miles and miles of freshwater coastline, or that Sleeping Bear Dunes was ranked the #1 place in America, but did you also know that northern Michigan has its own wine trail?
I consider myself somewhat of an expert on Michigan’s wineries (my best sport) and I’d love to help you plan your next trip!
I’ve gone wine tasting in Australia, Italy, France, Santa Barbara, Carmel, Napa, and Sonoma, but there is something special about how approachable and affordable wine tasting in my own backyard is in Michigan!
If you’re looking for a romantic weekend away with your partner, a fun girls getaway or bachelorette party, or want an annual road trip with other couples, I would highly recommend wine tasting up north! Northern Michigan offers two different wine trails, Leelanau Peninsula and Mission Peninsula. I would recommend sticking to one peninsula to max the wine tasting experience and minimize the drive between wineries. If you’re going for two days, you could definitely frequent the best wineries each peninsula has to offer on two separate days. And for those that prefer cider and beer to wine and sparkling, there’s a great mix to come up with a tour that fits everyone’s taste buds.
Wine tasting in Northern Michigan is also incredibly affordable. Unlike Napa’s $35-$40 per person tastings, you can expect between $3-$7 in Michigan.
Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail
The Leelanau Peninsula “LP” wine trail can be divided into three loops: Sleeping Bear, Northern Loop, and Grand Traverse Bay loop. I’m listing all wineries in each loop below. They are not far from each other, so you could certainly mix and match your stops if you wanted to.
Sleeping Bear Loop:
2.Boathouse (to be noted, Boathouse, Amoritas, and Northern Latitudes are all within spitting distance.)
-Boathouse is a great spot for a picnic lunch or to enjoy wine by the glass out back on the Adirondack chairs. Try the Seas the Day table white for an affordable summer dinner al fresco.
3.Amoritas *top pick!
Amoritas is a newer winery but not to be missed. The owners have a great story (ask them about the bar top made from a tree). Try the jalapeno cider!
4.Northern Latitudes Distillery *top pick
Northern Latitudes offers free spirit tasting along with great cocktails. Try the spicy bloody mary made with horseradish vodka and garnished with a beef stick straw.
3.Verterra *top pick! (grab your bag lunches from Village Cheese Shanty-call ahead and be sure to on pretzel bread-down the street to enjoy throughout the day while wine tasting.)
45 North has bocce ball outside and peach cremante not to be missed inside!
5.Blustone *top pick!
Blustone has an excellent view-not of the bay, but of their sprawling vines. Try the Ad-lib and Winemakers Red.
10.Suttons Bay Ciders *top pick!
Grab your cider flight and free popcorn and enjoy a game of darts or admire the view outside.
11.Hop Lot *top pick!
Hop Lot is great for those wanting a beer flight and a great spot for hanging outside year round. In the summer, there are outdoor games and firepits along with picnic tables, and in the winter you can enjoy the heated igloos while sipping.
Grand Traverse Bay Loop:
1.Black Star Farms
2.Chateau de Leelanau
Ciccone is owned by Madonna’s family.
Mawby is great for those that enjoy sparkling wines-try the Sex!
7.Two K Farms
The other peninsula is the Wineries of Mission Peninsula:
1.Black Star Farms (another location)
Chateau Chantal is a great pick for the rooftop-enjoy a smaller version of a flight that you can take outside and sip on the rooftop while enjoying the nearly panoramic view.
3.Bonobo *top pick!
Bonobo is Carter Oosterhouse’s winery, and you’ll often find him working on a project nearby. There’s a bar for tastings or enjoy a glass out on the porch or in one of the semi-private rooms off to the side. Try the Late Harvest Riesling!
4. 2 Lads *top pick!
2 Lads has a wonderful sparking wine to start off your tasting experience, along with great views of the bay.
5.Mari *#1 overall top pick
Mari is one of the newest wineries in Northern Michigan and hands down, my absolute favorite! We even signed up for their wine club so we could keep getting deliveries all year long. Try the Praefectus, Bestiary, and the charcuterie board! Hang around after your tasting and enjoy the views from the outdoor patio.
8.Chateau Grand Traverse
Have you been wine tasting in Northern Michigan? I’d love to hear your favorites wineries and wines!
If you’re planning a trip and have questions-please leave a comment or email, I’d love to help!