We all know fall brings an explosion of colorful foliage in Northern Michigan (and here are the best places to go on a color tour), but what you might not know about our autumn months is that they also boast some of the best wine events of the year. We’re talking gourmet mac and cheese expertly paired with local wines, a tour of more than 20 robust reds, a holiday-themed tour complete with gifts and so much more. Enjoy a glass of local vino at these wine events in Traverse City, Leelanau and Petoskey.

Hunt for the Reds of October – Weekdays during October
For $10, you can have a complimentary pour of a featured red wine at more than 20 wineries. It’s one of the best bargains we’ve ever seen, and an amazing way to find your new favorite red. Plus, $5 from every ticket benefits the American Red Cross of Northern Michigan! 

Toast the Season – Two weekends, November 4 & 5 and November 11 & 12
Celebrate the holiday season enjoying local wine and delicious fare along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. Each year in November, enjoy tasting and touring during one of two consecutive weekends

Harvest Cruise – Two weekends, November 10–12 and November 18–19

Enjoy all the beauty that harvest time in Northwest Michigan has to offer. “Cruise” through the Tip of the Mitt AVA to all 10 wineries on the Bay View Wine Trail. Luscious wines will be paired with small plates prepared by member wineries. Get your Cruise Ticket punched at each winery then turn in your completed ticket for a chance to win a winery gift certificate. Cruise Tickets cost $30 and can be purchased at any member winery or online.

The Great Mac N’ Cheese Bake-Off – November 25 
Last year tickets sold out in 48 hours. Because honestly, what could possibly be better than mac & cheese and wine? During the Mac N’ Cheese Bake-Off, America’s favorite comfort food gets an upgrade with help from celebrated Northern Michigan chefs. Area restaurants partner with Old Mission Peninsula wineries to create the perfect dish for their wine. Participants get to vote for the best pairing, cheesiest dish and people’s choice. (Mac & cheese recipes from years past.)

Harvest DinnersSeptember 13, October 18, November 11, December 2
These monthly, wine-paired culinary experiences are inspired by the best local, seasonal ingredients sourced from Northern Michigan’s finest farms. This means the menu changes every event and you have an excuse to go again and again!

View this beautiful dinner at Black Star Farms. 

More for Wine Lovers

Photo(s) by Taylor Brown