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Traverse City’s fantastic location right on Lake Michigan make it the perfect spot for tourists to flock to during the busy summer months, but when the fudgees get their fill of gorgeous Michigan the locals have an opportunity to hit the wine trail for some fantastic sips and a fun-filled day.
Why should you head out to the wine trail now? There are far fewer people at the most popular wineries, meaning that you might just have the whole place to yourself! Additionally, workers will be a little more generous with their pours and more likely to offer up a free pour and some great conversation to go with it. No fudgees means lower rates as the winter season approaches. We’ve compiled a list of the must-see wineries of Traverse City.
At Blackstar Farms bigger is better. They have two luxury wineries with two complete tasting rooms, a sophisticated bed and breakfast and even stables for horse riding. To accompany your glass of Chardonnay or Merlot you can dine in style at their eclectic and delicious cafe. Are you not a fan of wine? Blackstar Farms has a distillery where you can sample artisan spirits. Work off your wine, spirits or lunch with a stroll or ride around their 160-acre property. You could truly spend an entire day at Blackstar Farms and since this year is their 20th anniversary, you know that they will have special blends and foods prepared for their guests.
Chateau Chantel pulls heavily from French influence with their charming winery and bed and breakfast. Perfect for a romantic weekend away, this French style home is cozily appointed with eleven beautiful rooms, each with a great view of the sprawling estate. The scenery is really something to look at too! Chateau Chantel is located in one of the prettiest areas of the Great Lakes, Old Mission Peninsula. Take in the view while sipping on a glass of some of their finest wines. They specialize in Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Cabernet Franc, all from local grapes.
Walt and Eileen Brys left their successful careers and retired into a dream. They became winemakers and opened Brys Estates on Old Mission Peninsula. They found the area to be especially fertile due to its location on the 45 Parallel. Soon, they were creating wonderful wines from local grapes. Their tasting room is known for always have an eclectic selection of wines and friendly staff to serve them. Chances are, you will probably run into Walt or Eileen on your visit. This family-owned winery is not one to miss on your adventure touring the incredible wineries of Traverse City.
Mawby is one of those whimsical wineries where it feels like just about anything is possible! They have designated 2018 as the “Year of the Bubbles” and are offering guests creative new wines to sample. They offer three complimentary tastings, but chances are pretty great that you will want more once you taste what Mawby has to offer. They specialize in unique wines and use local grapes for their incredible creations. You have never visited a winery quite like this one, so if you love the bubbly make sure you make Mawby a must-see in Traverse City. You’ll want to sample many of their wines and be sure to grab a bite at their on-site cafe!
45 North Vineyard and Winery
This winery announces its geographic location right in its title. The 45th parallel is an excellent location for winemaking and the 45 North Vineyard and Winery uses its location to its advantage to produce some of the greatest wines in the country. Their wines are award-winning, regionally sourced and always presented in the most sophisticated manner possible. 45 North Vineyard and Winery also sits on some of the most stunning lands in the region, so you’ll sip in style while checking out the beautiful view. Spend an afternoon relaxing and tasting some of the finest wines in the region.
We all love the fudgees that visit our beautiful state and we’re happy to share the gorgeous landscape, great outdoors, excellent food and amazing wineries with them. We have to admit that it is a little nice when they pack up for the winter because we get all of the goodies all to ourselves. Hitting the road and checking out Traverse City’s wonderful selection of wineries should be on your agenda for this year. Make sure that you visit the ones on this list and others in the region. All of them celebrate the bountiful harvest of grapes that only the shores of Lake Michigan can provide!