Northern Michigan is a popular destination for fall color tours. Blazing reds, oranges and yellows paint the abundant forest and look even more vivid against the blue backdrop of Lake Michigan. If you’re headed up here this autumn, add a few stops at the local wineries to your itinerary. Michigan’s unique climate, influenced by the lakes, makes it an ideal location for producing wine, including a variety of fruit wines.
Maple Moon Sugarbush and Winery – A visit to Maple Moon, America’s only maple winery, fits perfectly into a fall color tour. Newly open in 2015, this Petoskey winery offers nine vintages of maple wine. They also offer other maple products, including ice cream, syrup, candy and root beer. Visit their tasting room to sample all their offerings.
Crooked Vine Vineyard and Winery – Located in Alanson, just 15 minutes from Petoskey, Crooked Vine grows cold hardy grape varieties to produce the nine vintages of wines currently available. Special events allow you to enjoy live music in the vineyard while sampling wines.
Harbor Springs Vineyards & Winery at Pond Hill Farm has a tasting room that allows you to sip a wide variety of Michigan red and white wines as well as crisp hard cider. You can also dine at their Garden Cafe where they serve fresh farm-to-plate dishes. An on-site brewery offers a “farm-to-barrel” experience. You can also shop their farm store for fresh produce and canned goods with a homemade touch.
Mackinaw Trail Winery, established in 2004, is one of Michigan’s most award-winning wineries. Their state-of-the-art Petoskey facility has 15 acres of planted grapes. Besides producing quality wines, they focus on giving back to the community and supporting local agriculture. In addition to their Petoskey facility, they have three other tasting rooms in Michigan. Besides grape wines, they offer a variety of fruit wines, including blueberry, strawberry rhubarb and spiced apple.
Petoskey Farms Winery is just three miles from Petoskey. Their tasting room features local Northern Michigan red wines, white wines, and fruit wines all with a view of the beautiful rolling hills and countryside. You’ll also find a variety of gifts at their store, including wine accessories, gift baskets and fine chocolates.
Walloon Lake Winery, a family farm for over 60 years, is one of Michigan’s newer wineries. They continue to grow and develop their offerings. Stop by for a taste of their new Dennis Purple Ribbon Blueberry wine. They have a variety of red and white wines as well. They’re located outside of Petoskey.
Pleasantview Winery in Harbor Springs specializes in creating unique blends from American varietal grapes. They do it all themselves, growing, harvesting and crushing the grapes. Then they also make, bottle, sell and deliver the wine. Their wine tasting room offers seminars about wine making and wine pairing. They focus on using an environmentally friendly process that leaves a small carbon footprint. They also have an on-site bed and breakfast, so you can sleep right in the heart of wine country during your visit.
Seasons of the North is a small, premium winery offering distinctive, quality wine with an emphasis on local production. Their wines get their unique features from their hybrid, cold hardy grape varieties developed specially for Michigan’s climate. Their offerings include reds, whites and fruit wines. Visit their outdoor wine garden to sample them. They gladly welcome children to their family-friendly environment in Indian River.
The Cellars of Royal Farms features wines that showcase locally produced Michigan fruits. Along with sipping their varieties of wines, including a white made from honey-crisp apples, you can enjoy their delicious homemade foods. They have a bakery where you’ll find fresh pies, cookies and donuts. The gift shop offers unique novelty items with a cherry theme, fitting for their location in Elsworth and the Cherry Capital of the World. In the fall, you’ll find fresh apples, and you can take a hay ride or try to find your way through their corn maze.