The Traverse City region is blessed with two wine-producing peninsulas—a delicious fact that makes wine touring Northern Michigan an enormous vacation attraction.
Leelanau Peninsula (Leelanau County) is the larger of the two, boasting some 25 wineries. Old Mission Peninsula may be small but its wine and its scenery are equally mighty. Use this guide to help you savor Northern Michigan wine country.
Wine Touring the Leelanau Peninsula
These three loops (running south to north along the Leelanau Peninsula) help facilitate a day of wine touring guaranteed to make lovers of food and drink smile.
Sleeping Bear Loop
(Named for its proximity to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore)
Cherry wines crafted from local orchards, amid a garden setting both relaxing and fun. 6026 S. Lake St., Glen Arbor, 231.334.3150, cherryrepublic.com.
In-town tasting room in Cedar displaying plenty of best of class awards. 8697 Good Harbor Trail, Cedar, 231.228.2880, longviewwinery.com.
Beautiful lake views showcase carefully crafted European varietals. 6530 S. Lake Shore Dr., Cedar, 231.228.4800, bellago.com.
Sophisticated wines served up in a friendly setting that pays homage to the locale’s French roots. 2290 S. French Rd., Lake Leelanau, 231.256.0000, chateaufontaine.com.
Friendly tasting room boasts a longtime growing legacy and one of the largest pinot grigio plantings in Michigan. 34 S. Manitou Trail, Lake Leelanau, 231.256.7165, goodharbor.com.
56 S. French Rd., Lake Leelanau, 231.994.2147, laurentidewinery.com
Breathtaking views in a boutique atmosphere; selection of local wines and cider, as well as light snack options. Spacious patio. 7007 E. Traverse Hwy., Traverse City, 231.421.7001, roveestate.com
Sip the award-winning Boathouse Red from an Adirondack chair on the waterfront. Corner of St. Mary’s Street and M-204. Lake Leelanau. 231.256.7115, boathousevineyards.com.
By boat or by car, sample the 16 wines and assorted ciders on tap at a tasting room just off the Leland River. 103 E. River St., Leland, 231.256.2155, verterrawinery.com.
Green Bird Organic Cellars and Farms (formerly Good Neighbor Organic Vineyard and Winery)
Located on a 67-acre organic farm, two miles south of Northport, featuring estate made wines, handcrafted hard ciders, locally made microbrews and spirits. 9525 Engles Rd., Northport, 231.386.5636, greenbirdcellars.com.
Sip regional favorites, 35 years and counting, in a tasting room perched over glittery Omena Bay. 5019 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Omena, 231.386.5201, leelanaucellars.com.
Small batch wines are oak mellowed and hand bottled and corked. 11061 E. Silver Leaf Farm Rd., Suttons Bay, 231.271.3111, silverleafvineyard.com.
Reds are a good bet at this winery, first in the area to specialize in Bordeaux varietals and red vinifera grapes. 1865 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Suttons Bay, 231.271.5650.
Sip hard cider that tastes like an apple straight from the tree in a setting as friendly as a neighborhood pub. 2055 N. Setterbo Rd., Suttons Bay, 231.271.0050, tandemciders.com.
Popular wines like 45 Red and Peach Crémant served in a post-and-beam barn tasting room. 8580 E. Horn Rd., Lake Leelanau, 231.271.1188, fortyfivenorth.com.
A full productions boutique winery with an Old-World ambiance. Award-winning wines from Leelanau Peninsula grapes served up with small plates made with local food. 7788 E. Horn Rd., Lake Leelanau, 231.994.3188, auroracellars.com.
Notable for its light-filled tasting room and the double gold won for its first unoaked chardonnay. 780 N. Sylt Road, Lake Leelanau, 231.256.0146, blustonevineyards.com.
Grand Traverse Bay Loop
119 N. St. Joseph St., Suttons Bay., 231.941.7060, frenchvalleyvineyards.com
Leelanau’s original and still humble winery, specializing in hybrid varietals. 7501 E. Otto Rd., Lake Leelanau, 231.256.7272, boskydel.com.
Award-winning wines pair with an inn, creamery and farm-to-table dinners at this agri-tourism leader. 10844 E. Revold Rd., Suttons Bay, 231.994.1250, blackstarfarms.com.
World-class bubbly is what you’ll find here, where only sparkling wine is sold. 4519 S. Elm Valley Rd., Suttons Bay, 231.271.3522, lmawby.com.
European-style wines and Old World tasting room sit atop a hill delivering gorgeous lake views. 10343 E. Hilltop Rd., Suttons Bay, 231.271.5553, Cicconevineyard.com.
Gorgeous West Bay views set the stage for the tasting of small production artisan wines. 10702 E. Hilltop Rd., Suttons Bay, 231.271.4810, willowvineyardwine.com.
Wines and ciders are made from fruits grown in longtime family orchards and vineyards. 5048 South West Bayshore Dr., Suttons Bay, 231.271.8888, chateaudeleelanau.com.
Award-winning wines served up in smart and beautifully renovated fieldstone chicken coop and a lovely adjacent outdoor seating area. 9580 Shady Ln., Suttons Bay, 231.947.8865, shadylanecellars.com.
Refined winemaking and organic and biodynamic growing practices appeal to the wine aficionado—and others. 9720 Center Hwy., Traverse City, 231.946.2764, Brengmanbrothers.com.
For more information about wineries in Leelanau County, Michigan, go to lpwines.com.
Touring the Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City
With just two thoroughfares—Peninsula Dr. and M-37—running the length of its 18-miles, finding your way to the seven wineries on Old Mission is simple.
Vintners Cornel Olivier and Chris Baldyga have made a name for themselves teasing out delicate, nuanced flavors from sustainably grown wines. The Two Lads’ state-of-the-art facility specializes in cool-climate reds, sparkling wines and small-batch whites. 16985 Smokey Hollow Rd., Traverse City, 231.223.7722, 2Lwinery.com.
This Old World–inspired winery and B&B sets on a hilltop, affording gorgeous views of grapevine-trellised hillsides and Grand Traverse Bay. Live jazz Thursday evenings. 15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City, 800.969.4009, chateauchantal.com.
Founded by Traverse City natives Carter and Todd Oosterhouse, this winery aims to bring a sense of approachability to the Michigan wine and vineyard scene, “removing any pretenses and allowing for the ultimate educational and enjoyable experience.” 12011 Center Rd., Traverse City, 231.282.9463, bonobowinery.com.
Sample this boutique winery’s award-winning varietals in a casual tasting room near Bowers Harbor Park. Don’t miss the signature meritage blend, 2896 Langley Vineyard. 2896 Bowers Harbor Rd., Traverse City, 800.616.7615, bowersharbor.com.
The luxe tasting room here is a perfect complement to vintner Coenraad Stassen’s sophisticated wines. Artful reds, crisp whites and a lovely brick patio for enjoying the scenery. 3309 Blue Water Rd., Traverse City, 231.223.9303, brysestate.com.
This winery helped put Michigan on the map for world-class wines. Showcasing fine reds, whites, rieslings and specialty cherry wines. 12239 Center Rd., Traverse City, 231.223.7355, cgtwines.com.
Located on 80 acres, Hawthorne boasts one of the most naturally secluded sites on the peninsula, with the tasting room positioned on a high bluff with breathtaking water views. Known for its 2014 Barrel Reserve Auxerrois, a 2015 Jefferson Cup Winner. Also featured is an outdoor patio; cozy up to the wood-burning fireplace and admire brilliant bay waters. 1000 Camino Maria, new entrance at Montague Road, 231.929.4206, HawthorneVineyards.com
A historic one-room schoolhouse serves as the tasting room for this family-run winery. The line here includes a selection of memorable fruit wines made from tart cherries, sweet cherries and apples. 11480 Center Rd., Traverse City, 231.223.4050, peninsulacellars.com.
The cool atmosphere at this tasting room includes a cozy fireplace and a bar made of wine barrels. Try award-winning wines and brandies from the onsite distillery. 360 McKinley Rd., Traverse City, 231.944.1300, blackstarfarms.com.
Though the impressive tasting room off Center Road is relatively new, this vineyards’ wines date back to 2006, when its flagship Row 7 was introduced. True to his Italian heritage, founder Marty Lagina planted exotic varieties like Nebbiolo and Sangiovese; the operation now boasts more than 60 acres of vineyards planted entirely on the Old Mission Peninsula, with more being added every year. 8175 Center Rd., Traverse City, 231.633.1277, villamarivineyards.com.
While wine tasting is not the same as wine drinking—but all those little sips can add up. When planning to visit multiple wineries in a single day, remember to nominate a designated driver, or book a bus or group tour. For a list of recommended shuttle services, visit the Wineries of Old Mission website. wineriesofoldmission.com.