The arrival of spring is reason enough to break open a bottle and raise a glass to local vineyards. Thanks to designating April as Michigan Wine Month, the state has given vino lovers yet another reason to celebrate the return of grape growing season.

“Not only is our wine industry a vital component of the state’s agricultural sector, it’s also an important part of our tourism industry as hundreds of thousands of people visit Michigan’s wine country each year,” said Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Granholm noted the nearly $800 million Michigan wine contributes to the economy was cause for honoring the industry.  We say the beauty and taste Northern Michigan’s premier wine peninsulas—Leelanau and Old Mission—brings is worth every penny.

Commemorate Michigan Wine Month with a tasting room tour, and when you do, make sure to sip these spring picks:

2007 Arcturos Pinot Gris from Black Star Farms Crisp, fruity, and floral, this five time medal winner is perfect for pulling your taste buds out of hibernation.

2008 Coop de Rose from Shady Lane Cellars Think pink and sip on this long time favorite to tide you over until sunny summer days have returned along the shoreline.

2007 Chateau Fontaine Pinot Gris The label may read “dry white table wine” but the taste is far more formal.  Made in true French style, the intense citrus flavor is a welcome gift as the fruit trees of the north are still just budding.

Leelenau Primavera NV Bel Lago The vineyard’s most popular white, the semi-dry, easy drinking taste invokes the feel of blosoms and farm stands and barefoot back porch sitting. 

Read more about Northern Michigan wines.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski