There was a time in recent history when going to wine country in the United States meant booking a trip to California’s Napa Valley. Over the last several decades, however, there have been a number of vineyards and small craft breweries popping up in various regions around the country. Michigan is one of many states that has become known for its regional wines, especially the vineyards in Traverse City. Here are a few of our favorite vineyards to visit when traveling through the Great Lakes State.
1. Chateau Chantal Winery and B&B
Opened in 1993 by the Begin family, this French-style three room B&B, winery, and vineyard quickly became one of the most popular vineyards in the area. Since it originally opened, the space has undergone a significant expansion and is now a 15,000 square foot building which resides on 65-acres on the Old Mission Peninsula. The vineyard itself was established in 1983 when the cherry orchard that resided on the property was replaced with grafted vinirea grape vines, the same species of wine grape that is grown in the Bordeaux region in France. The handcrafted wines produced here include a Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Pinot Meunier.
2. Bel Lago Vineyards and Winery
This family-owned vineyard overlooking Lake Leelanau and Lake Michigan was founded in 1987 by Domenic, Ruth, and Amy Iezzoni and Charles Edson. Since opening the winery, the family takes pride in their unwavering commitment to excellence and in creating an environment in which their vines can thrive. The winery produces a variety of product each year including carefully crafted Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Auxerrois.
3. Hawthorne Vineyards
This boutique vineyard and tasting room sits four miles outside of Traverse City on the Old Mission Peninsula. Here the owners pride themselves in the finely crafted, small production quality wines that are produced each year from their estate fruits. The 80-acre site offers postcard views of both the East and West Grand Traverse Bays. Their handcrafted wines include Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Lemberger, Gamay, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling.