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While California and Florida receive all of the attention for wine production, Michigan is quietly making some of the bests strains in the country. Locals and visitors in the know prefer to keep Michigan’s involvement in the industry under wraps. This means less competition and no crowds of tourists. In fact, many wineries in Michigan have started offering tours and tastings. Many visitors are surprised that a winery can thrive in the harsh conditions of the midwestern United States. Here is a list of the best wine tour companies and why we are fond of their services.
1. Leelanau Peninsula Trail
The Leelanau Peninsula is located northwest of Traverse City and experiences a diverse microclimate which results in some interesting strains of grapes. There are 24 different wineries in this area which specialize in their own fermenting processes. The Leelanau Peninsula Trail is comprised of three different loops that will take visitors to see several of the best wineries in the area.
The Sleeping Bear Loop is a popular trail where visitors can experience seven different wineries. Although this is a smaller portion of the Leelanau Peninsula, we enjoy the diversity offered on the Sleeping Bear Loop. The Northern Loop is designed for visitors who want to visit the maximum amount of wineries without driving very far. This loop visits a cluster of ten different wineries that aren’t very far apart. The Grand Traverse Bay Loop sees nine different wineries primarily clustered on the eastern coast of the peninsula.
2. The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula
The Old Mission Peninsula is a smaller portion of northern Michigan that rests just to the east of the Leenalau Peninsula. There are nine wineries that comprise the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) trail. Each winery carries a unique character and charm that gives visitors a special look into the wine-making process in Michigan. Together, these nine wineries create an unforgettable experience that visitors from around the country can enjoy in northern Michigan.
Despite being smaller in size than the Leenalau Trail, the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula can still take several days to enjoy. On the other hand, some travelers want to see all nine wineries in a single day. We recommend taking at least a few days in order to enjoy the wine-tasting ceremonies, the stunning scenery and the historical architecture present in many of these wineries.
All of the wineries mentioned in this piece offer wine-tastings for visitors. Some even have complimentary snacks. For visitors traveling in larger groups, it is recommended to call a winery ahead of time to ensure there is sufficient space. There are trail maps online that can help visitors plan their trips through the winery trails of Michigan. There are plenty of accommodation options surrounding both the Leenalau and WOMP trails. Many wineries even offer event management and catering for special events such as weddings or graduations.
Despite being located in the northern portion of the United States, Michigan creates some of the best wine in the country.