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A Guide to Wineries in Michigan

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By Sophie Brochu
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Wine is on the rise in the state of Michigan. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing wine-producing states. Plan a road trip through scenic Michigan, sipping vibrant wines made from the sandy soils, rolling hills, and rocky terrain. This guide gives you the run-down of over a dozen excellent wineries.

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Amoritas Vineyards - Lake Leelanau

This small family-owned and operated winery is located on the Leelanau Peninsula among rolling hills and sandy loam soils from which they cultivate their grapes. Go for the dry sparkling rieslings, crisp pinot gris, floral pinot blanc, and other dazzling and vibrant white wines indicative of the surrounding Michigan terroir.

Tock Tip: Don’t miss the vineyard tours and tasting flights. You can reserve a spot on the lawn, on the porch, or inside the tasting room.

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Aurora Cellars - Lake Leelanau

This boutique winery, founded by a sibling team, is nestled in the heart of the Leelanau Peninsula. The winemakers rely on the naturally sustaining environment and fertile ground to craft fewer than 10,000 cases a year to maintain ultimate quality control. Go for the blaufränkisch, cabernet franc, and merlot wines, all of which are hand tended and harvested before being aged and crafted in 100% French oak. 

Tock Tip: Visit the European-style tasting room for a 45-minute tasting of five wines served in fine crystal glassware.

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Blustone Vineyards - Lake Leelanau

Planted in 2005, this vineyard is located on 40 acres in the middle of the Leelanau Peninsula, just off M204. The rocky soil and limestone give the grapes a unique minerality, while the elevation on the peninsula contributes to one of the longest growing seasons around. Go for the mineral-driven wines and the modern tasting room with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Tock Tip: The name is derived from Leland Blue, a natural calcification of impurities left behind by the local iron smelting operation of the 1800s. You can find these beautiful blue stones while walking the beaches of Leland.

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Bonobo Winery - Old Mission Peninsula

Founded by brothers and longtime Traverse City natives, Bonobo is located within ten miles of downtown Traverse City on the popular Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail. The winery’s mission is to make wine approachable, in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere designed for enjoying glasses and small plates, not just sips. Go for the award-winning, estate-grown wines from sparkling rosé made in the traditional method, to complex pinot noirs.

Tock Tip: Book the seasonal 3-course VIP food & wine pairing offered on the weekends.

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Bowers Harbor Vineyards - Old Mission Peninsula

Twelve miles north of Traverse City, Bowers Harbor is easily accessible on the Old Mission Peninsula. Formerly a horse farm, the land now boasts 20 acres of beautiful vineyards and a re-imagined tasting room that was once the horse stable. Go for award-winning sparkling wines, rieslings, unwooded chardonnay, and cabernet franc.

Tock Tip: Hike the nature trail, explore the property, then kick back on the patio pavilion for a unique wine flight.

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Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery - Old Mission Peninsula

Located approximately twenty minutes by car from Traverse City, Brys Estate is one of the largest winery estates on the Old Mission Peninsula with 58,000 vines planted less than a mile from Lake Michigan. Along with the popular tasting room and outdoor deck, Brys is known for The Secret Garden that consists of over 6,000 lavender plants, flowers, a strawberry patch, and herbs. Go for the gewürztraminer, dry rieslings, and pinot noirs.

Tock Tip: Book the electric wagon shuttle tasting where you’ll explore five unique locations throughout the 111-acre estate.

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Detroit Vineyards - Detroit

Detroit Vineyards is one of the country’s largest urban wineries, crafting quality wines while working with vineyard partners throughout Michigan. Everything they sell is fermented, crushed, destemmed, pressed, racked, and bottled in Detroit’s Eastern Market. Go for the eclectic current release wines, in addition to the mead, and the cider.

Tock Tip: Book the winery tour, offered twice on Saturday afternoons. These conclude with an intimate tasting in the cellar.

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Mari Vineyards - Old Mission Peninsula

Mari produces a wide variety of red wines unlike anything else made in Michigan. To ensure the highest quality and ripest grapes, the winemakers set up greenhouses over the grapes to create warmer temperatures during the day and extend the growing season. Go for the cabernet franc, merlot, and other fine red wines.

Tock Tip: Take the walking tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking process. The tour starts in the tasting room and ends in the underground wine cave.

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MAWBY Sparkling - Suttons Bay

MAWBY is on a mission to create the finest sparkling wines while respecting the land. This Elm Valley estate vineyard was planted in 1976, making it one of the oldest commercial vineyards in Michigan. Here you’ll find brut, semi-dry, and sweet sparkling wines, all of which have been twice-fermented, whether in the bottle or one of the pressure tanks.

Tock Tip: There are two tasting rooms on the property. The bigLITTLE Tasting Room specializes in still wines.

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Rove Estate - Traverse City

Rove Estate is centrally located between the Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula. Perched at 1,165 feet, the elevation creates the perfect conditions for premium estate-grown grapes and stunning panoramic views. The Rove winemakers allow these grapes to express themselves in the final product, minimally manipulating the season’s harvest to create wines that are a direct representation of the land. Go for the unoaked chardonnay, vibrant rosé, and cabernet franc.

Tock Tip: This is the perfect place to stop on your adventure to or from Sleeping Bear Dunes.

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Rudbeckia Winery - Petoskey

Located just minutes from Bay Harbor, Rudbeckia is nestled in the rolling hills of northern Michigan on 190 acres of the former Foltz Dairy Farm. Take a hike to the top of the hill to see breathtaking views of Walloon Lake and Lake Michigan, compete in a game of bocce on the regulation court, and sip award-winning dry rosés and rieslings.

Tock Tip: Rudbeckia is a must-visit for those who love wine and beer as they share a tasting/taproom with Burnt Marshmallow Brewstillery.

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Tabone Vineyards - Traverse City

Tabone Vineyards has been growing grapes, in addition to apple, cherry, and peach trees in Traverse City for two decades. Tucked beside the Bill Carls Nature Preserve, this winery produces estate-grown wines in small batches. Grab a table on the back patio where you can play yard games while enjoying bubbly riesling, barrel-strength chardonnay, and fruit-forward pinot gris.

Tock Tip: Bring the pooch. Tabone is especially dog-friendly.

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Walloon Lake Winery - Petoskey

Located at the “Tip of the Mitt American Viticultural Area” and surrounded by 36 rolling Petoskey acres, this fourth-generation winery specializes in creating the best wines from cold, hardy grape varieties. The Dennis family is also committed to being “good stewards of the earth” by composting, recycling, and building bird, bat, and butterfly habitats. Go for the crowd favorite sparkling peach wine, full-bodied frontenac gris, barrel-aged red blends, and semi-sweet blueberry wine.

Tock Tip: The tasting is only $10/person for four wines. Bargain deal.

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2 Lads Winery - Old Mission Peninsula

2 Lads Winery occupies 58 acres on northern Michigan’s beautiful Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. Here, they specialize in sustainable cool climate red and sparkling wines. The multi-level facility uses gravity-flow and gentle-handling techniques to save energy, reduce noise, and foster the aroma and flavor of the wine.

Tock Tip: Book a summer wine tasting in the modern tasting room, where you can enjoy small plates and lake views.

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45 North Vineyard & Winery - Lake Leelanau

45 North is a family-owned winery founded in 2006 with a simple motto in mind, “For the good times.” Named after the 45th parallel that traverses the vineyard, 45 North makes clean and crisp white wines and bold and refined reds and rosés. They’re also doing a limited-release skin-fermented series. Grab a spot in the rustic modern hand-hewn, post and beam tasting room barn.

Tock Tip: The 45 North Vineyard Trail is an all-season 3-mile recreational trail through the scenic vineyard that you can explore on skis, by bike, or on foot.

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Shady Lane Cellars - Sutton's Bay

Founded in 1987, Shady Lane Cellars is a boutique estate winery and vineyard located among the scenic rolling hills on the Leelanau Peninsula. They offer wines like sparkling riesling and pinot gris that exhibit elegance and structure, complimented by intensity of aroma and flavor.

Tock Tip: Don’t miss this summer’s event line up featuring live music on the patio, wine pairing dinners, and the Low Country Shrimp Boil.

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Tock is home to hundreds of great wineries all around the world. Find more vintages and varietals here.

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