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While you might not think of visiting the wineries of Michigan as a winter activity, wine tasting is an excellent way to warm you up on a crisp winter day. With less crowded tasting rooms and many labels to choose from, a winter wine tasting experience in Leelenau County has many advantages. Not only will you enjoy far more attention from the staff, but you will have more opportunities for asking questions and learning about the wines, pairings, and the history of the region.

Known as one of the best wine regions in the area, the Leelanau Peninsula in northwest Michigan is located on the 45th parallel, which is the same as the famous Bordeaux wine region in France. The winter, with its beautiful snow covered hills, is an ideal time to explore this scenic peninsula, and what better way to experience it than through a winter wine tour. Luckily, most of the wineries in the area are open year round at least on the weekends, but it is a good idea check on their hours in advance.

For an especially invigorating and unique experience of wine tasting during the winter season, you might want to consider a snowshoe or cross-country ski tour via the vineyard-to-vineyard ski and snowshoe trail. Snowshoes and ski rentals are available for those who don’t have their own equipment. Stretching 7.5 miles and connecting over 45 vineyards, this trail is divided into three loops, the Grand Traverse Loop, the Sleeping Bear Loop, and the Northern Loop.

The Grand Traverse Bay Loop is accessible from Traverse City and encompasses a stunning stretch of shoreline and hilltop views of orchard-filled valleys. On this loop, you can choose from nine wineries to stop at including Black Star Farms, Chateau De Leelanau, and Brengman Brothers.

Located 12 miles north of Traverse City along scenic M-22 and near the village of Suttons Bay, Black Star Farms includes two winery productions facilities and tasting rooms on both the Old Mission and Leelanau Wine Trails. Wines, ciders, brandies, and dessert wines are available for tasting. With a luxury inn, a farm-to-table café, a distillery, and an equestrian facility, this family-owned estate is known for its award-winning wines, charming atmosphere, and culinary excellence. If you are planning a winter visit, be sure to check out the winter snowshoeing events.

A family-owned farm and vineyard specializing in wines and hard ciders, Chateau De Leelanau is located at the entrance to Leelanau County’s wine country. Founded in 1990, they offer a selection of over a dozen styles of wine, red and white, made from many varieties of grapes and fruits, as well as exceptional hard ciders. Their award-winning wines can be sampled at the tasting room on the corner of M-22 and Hilltop road.

Known for its fine wine and hospitality, Brengman Brothers is family-owned and operated and includes three vineyards, Crain Hill Vineyard, Cedar Lake Vineyard, and Timberlee Vineyard. Brengman Brothers wine shop and tasting room are located just five miles outside of Traverse City. The excellence of the wine results from the combined location and work that goes into growing and ripening the grapes. With its focus on sustainability, the wines produced here are natural and mostly organic. The gorgeous tasting room is both rustic and modern, making it a great atmosphere for private tastings, tours, weddings, or special events.

These are just a few of the excellent and award-winning wineries that you might want to visit on your next trip to Michigan. To stay warm during your Michigan wine tour experience and to bring a bit of Michigan spirit home with you to remember your trip, be sure buy the coolest Michigan apparel at Livnfresh.com. Whatever the time of year, wine tours and tastings in Michigan will provide you and your family with a scenic, delicious, and fun experience.