Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail’s annual Sips & Soups (Saturday, January 20) is a favorite event among locals featuring scrumptious wine and soup pairings at 20 wineries along the trail. The event helps support local food banks by donating $5 from each ticket sold. Tickets are available at MyNorthTickets.com for $20 per person and include a souvenir wine glass. Soup-only tickets are available for $10 for designated drivers.

Visitors and locals enjoy a wide variety of wine and soup pairings along the wine trail’s three “loops”—Sleeping Bear, Grand Traverse Bay, and Northern. The soup, stew, and chili options—many of which are prepared by local restaurants—are decided months in advance to pair them specifically with the peninsula’s best food-friendly wines. (View the delicious pairings here.)

“This is personally one of our favorite events,” says Lorri Hathaway, executive director of the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. “Sips & Soups tends to attract a mostly local crowd who looks forward to enjoying the wine and unique ambiance of our tasting rooms during a less crowded season, and we, in turn, give back to an amazing cause.”

The giveback, facilitated by Leelanau Christian Neighbors, benefits two key needs: keeping shelves stocked at Leelanau food banks and affording funds for Blessings in a Backpack—a program which assures that over 180 impoverished children receive a backpack filled with food to keep them nourished over the weekends when they’re not at school. Leelanau Christian Neighbors helps coordinate the donations.

Tickets to Sips & Soups are quickly approaching sell-out and participants are encouraged to purchase their tickets soon—the event sold out in 2016 and 2017. The self-guided wine and food tour begins at noon on Saturday, January 20 and “Sip & Soup-ers” have the entire afternoon to make their way from winery to winery to enjoy anything from artichoke and asiago bisque paired with dry riesling to a hearty beef and vegetable soup paired with pinot noir.

View the full pairing menu and more details.

The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail is a member-driven winery association founded in 1998. The mission of the association is to spread the word about all the good things happening along the trail, which is divided into three mini-trails for easy touring: the Sleeping Bear Loop, the Northern Loop, and the Grand Traverse Bay Loop.

The Leelanau Peninsula AVA is home to 20-plus wineries located within diverse microclimates uniquely suited for a variety of wine grapes. Among the internationally acclaimed varietals are riesling, pinot grigio, chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet franc. The local wines continue to achieve national and international accolades with each passing vintage.

—Press release provided by Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

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Photo(s) by LPVT