Not a bad seat in the car as you cruise north on this orchard- and vineyard-covered peninsula’s wine trail. With 21 wineries in this news-making wine country, it’s best to appoint a DD or use one of the region’s tour services (VININN.COM/WINERIES, CELTICSHUTTLES.COM and more at LPWINES.COM). One tour we like: Leelanau Cellars, perched above the blue half-moon of Omena Bay, Raftshol’s centennial cherry farm-turned-vineyard, Shady Lane Cellars in the sweet little stone chicken coop andCiccone Vineyard and Winery, where the man with a famous daughter enjoys his own fame for winemaking. Find more at lpwines.com. In the meantime, consider these three highlights.
Visitors arriving mid- summer will taste inside a new rough-hewn, Amish-made kit barn. A refreshing, crisp Pinot Gris and gorgeous Pinot Noir Rosé are earning acclaim, and don’t miss the Reserve Chardonnay or house-specialty mead made with local honey and cold pressed apricots and peaches. 8580 E. HORN RD., LAKE LEELANAU, 231-271-1188, FORTYFIVENORTH.COM.
This rambling agri-estate with the bright red barns has an onsite CSA garden, creamery with award-winning raclette cheese, a petting farm (complete, in the springtime, with a darling baby mini-horse) winery and distillery. Step into the soaring-ceilinged tast- ing room for the Cab Franc, Late Harvest Riesling, Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay and spectacular dessert wines starring Up North fruits and forages: cherry, pear and maple. 10844 E. REVOLD RD., SUTTONS BAY, 231-944-1271, BLACKSTARFARMS.COM.
L. Mawby Vineyards
Larry Mawby’s quirky signage, saucy wine labels (Sex, Wet or Fizz anyone?) and, of course, extremely fine bubbly add to the good vibes at this all-sparkling winery. Snack on whitefish pâté and breathe in the pastoral meadow backdrop as you sip from a flight of champagne flutes. 4519 S. ELM VALLEY RD., SUTTONS BAY, 231-271-3522, LMAWBY.COM.
Tips, Tours and Travel in Traverse City, Old Mission and Leelanau Wine Country
- Romancing the Riesling
- Riesling on the Rise
- The Ultimate Summer Wine List
- Old Mission Peninsula Wine Country
- Northern Michigan Sparkling Wines
- Water and Wine Weekends
- Michigan Beer and Wine Dinners at Boyne
- Traverse City’s Urban Winery
- See Wine Country by Bike
- Subscribe to MyNorth’s Food & Wine Newsletter: It’s free!
Quick Links to More Fun in Leelanau County!
- The Leelanau Vacation Directory: Listings to lodging, galleries, restaurants and more along with an interactive map.
- Leelanau Digital Vacation Guide: Browse beautiful pages connecting you to wine tours, great drives, historic Glen Haven, lighthouse tours, canoeing and click to hundreds of websites.
- The Complete Restaurant Guide for Leelanau County: Just type in any Leelanau County town and browse the wonderful array of restaurant options.
- Video: Sleeping Bear Dunes
- Check out all the music, festivals, arts and events of all kinds happening in Leelanau County: Just pop in the name of the Leelanau County town you’d like to play in and choose amongst hundreds of things to do!
- Plot your day in Leelanau County using this Interactive Map: Choose an activity in "I’d like to find" and choose a Leelanau town for "in a town near." Then click away!
- Rent a cottage in Leelanau County: There are hundreds of cottages to rent in Northern Michigan. Type the town you’re interested in into the Search box and plan your getaway Up North!