While Leelanau Peninsula may be home to some of the most award-winning Northern Michigan wineries, Traverse City and nearby Old Mission Peninsula have also become strongholds for prominent players in the the business. With over a dozen wineries and a multitude of breweries, Traverse City and Old Mission are the perfect tasting destinations for your Northern Michigan vacation. Head into one of the breweries, wineries, or even a distillery for a taste, or swing by one of several Northern Michigan festivals to experience great music, local art and a Northern Michigan-made libation.
Wine Tasting In Grand Traverse
Wineries in Traverse and Old Mission Peninsula flourish due to the tempering effects of Lake Michigan and the hills and ridges that allow the air to flow across the land — it all adds up to a climate just right for growing the world’s classic wine grapes. Take a day to savor the wineries that decorate Traverse City and Old Mission Peninsula.
- Two Lads – Old Mission: Vintners Cornel Olivier and Chris Baldyga—the namesake “two lads”—have made a name for themselves teasing out delicate flavors from their sustainably grown wines. Cool-climate reds are their signature, but you’ll also find sparkling wines and small batch whites at their state of the art, ultra-modern facility.
- Cherry Republic – Traverse City: Cherry wines for adults and a number of playful cherry sodas for kids.
- Left Foot Charley – Traverse City: A distinctly urban vibe, mellow white wines, hard ciders, and a big, beautiful patio with a sandbox to occupy any kids in tow. Live music many nights and weekly “Happy Hour” featuring ethnic eats.
Microbrew Tour in Traverse City
The brewing industry is booming within Traverse City and microbreweries. Plan a tour to a few of them and enjoy some Michigan-made beer:
- Workshop: A zero-waste brewery with a mix of classic brews and creative seasonals made with organic grains. Fresh sandwiches, snacks, kids menu.
- Brewery Terra Firma: A good bit of the beer lifecycle—from hop to harvest to the first pour—happens on this historic 10-acre farm. Come prepared with an adventurous tasting mindset.
- Right Brain: As many as 25 creative brews on tap, ranging from an apple pie amber ale to a fiery chipotle porter. Snack plates, waffle sandwiches.
Grand Traverse Distillery
Celebrating 6 years of success, Grand Traverse Distillery is proud to be Michigan’s largest micro-distillery. Owner Kent Rabish is a Michigan native whose vision came true after visiting micro-distilleries on the West-Coast. Inspired by what he saw, Kent decided to use corn, rye, wheat and water all from somewhere along the 45th parallel. Grand Traverse Distillery offers vodka, whiskey, gin and rum.
Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival
This annual event, now held twice a year (February and August), is a great way to check out what the Mitten’s best brewers have been up to. The Microbrew & Music Festival will be held this August 22nd & 23rd at the Grand Traverse Commons. Musicians and beer selection will be announced soon and released on their website.