(And other ways to enjoy wine this spring)
It’s coming Saturday, May 20 – the Petoskey Uncorked event – and on either side of that? Boundless fields of blooming cherry orchards near Petoskey. If you’re planning a spring weekend out and about, May 20 is hard to beat. (And we’ve included 4 other ways to enjoy a wine weekend in Petoskey, too!)
The Petoskey Uncorked event is held noon to 4 p.m. and features 14 tastings from area wineries at Odawa Casino – all members of the Petoskey Wine Trail. Tickets are $40 each and include wine tastings and heavy hors d’oeuvres from the casino’s restaurant, Sage.
The 14 wineries that make up the Petoskey Wine Region are located in and around the greater Petoskey area. They’re part of a larger Tip of the Mitt American Viticultural Area (AVA)— which encompasses 2,760-square miles throughout Alpena, Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet and Presque Isle counties in the northern Lower Peninsula.
And with a location so far north, the Tip of the Mitt region offers both challenges – and opportunities – when it comes to growing grapes. The lake effect conditions created by Little Traverse Bay and the Straits of Mackinac, makes for colder and windier weather and most varietals can’t stand the harsh conditions (the same could be said for some people who only like it in the summer up here, haha!) The result? Hybrid varietals — such as Marquette, Frontenac, Lemberger, Traminette, Vignoles and a dozen others — are grown up North. The result is different and delicious.
In addition to the Petoskey Uncorked event, here are a 4 other ideas on enjoying wine in the month of May – while the blooms are showing their beauty.
Buy a passport
The Petoskey Wine Region Passport is $30 and you receive a $5 discount off a wine tasting at each of their 14 partner wineries. (You save $70 in tasting fees overall.) The passports do not expire and give you an excellent excuse to traipse around in the blossoms more than once this spring!
Build your own wine tour
Consider a wine tour, complete with driver. Sunset Premiere Shuttle offers a 4-hour wine tasting tour that can be booked any day of the week, for up to 6 people in a Suburban. Vine Ride specializes in private wine tours for up to 7 people and focuses on the Petoskey Wine Region. (Also, check out their fun decked out van!) There are more ideas for planning your own tour here.
Fake it till you make it
If you’re a beginner, check out this article on how to taste, smell and savor each wine. (Personally, we think there’s no wrong way to enjoy a wine, though!)
Try something rare
Maple Moon Sugarbush and Winery in Petoskey is America’s first maple winery. Yes – their wine is made with maple syrup from sugarbush on their property! They offer 11 maple wines and 2 maple hard ciders. They describe their Maple Gold wine as “coming in at a hot 18% alcohol, this better than port style wine explodes with bourbon characteristics and a lasting maple finish.” A definite “must” for the wine lover who has done it all!
Stay and sip
And here is a handful of ideas on where to stay if you want to make a weekend of it. The Odawa Hotel also offers lodging. You can enjoy the Uncorked event and stay all in one spot! (Bonus – the hotel’s pool opens May 20 after new renovations for the season.)
Run to the Finish “Wine”
The Mackinaw Trail Wine Run 5k will be held June 3 in Petoskey. This new timed event features the beautiful scenery and landscape of Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery. Participants get a collapsible wine cup, finisher’s medal, a t-shirt and, of course, a pour of wine! Proceeds from this event support Feeding America and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Speaking of uncorked!
Finally, may we suggest a one-of-a-kind, no-two-alike Petoskey wine stopper for the goodies you take home with you?