Soak up some springtime sunshine (bevy in hand) at these Northern Michigan wineries with bright blue bay views and plenty of outdoor seating.
Note, some wineries are requiring reservations due to COVID-19. Call ahead or check online.
Brys’ upper deck overlooks rows and rows of lush green vines as East Grand Traverse Bay winks in the distance. Order a frose (a frozen slushy with pinot noir, riesling, strawberry juice and lemon juice!) and a charcuterie board to pair with the vineyard views. Ready to wander? Go explore the Secret Garden where more than 6,000 lavender plants, strawberry and blueberry patches, an herb garden, gift shop and more are tucked behind the winey.
Perched high atop the spine of Old Mission Peninsula, with a patio pointed west and a terrace turned east, Chateau Chantal offers incredible views of both arms of Grand Traverse Bay. June through September, enjoy live local music and happy hour specials on Thursday nights from 5-7 p.m. on the terrace (order a glass of the crisp unoaked chardonnay). Then, walk the Founder’s Trail through the working vineyard. Check-in at the tasting room for directions (Mark’s way is 3/4 mile and Arnie’s way is 1/2 mile).
Chateau Grand Traverse was the first winery on Old Mission Peninsula, established in 1974, and its patio sits next to its oldest vineyard, planted almost 50 years ago. A covered, heated portion offers a cozy space on cooler spring days. For the bay view we promised, you’ll need to head down to the vineyard overlook deck behind the winery where West Grand Traverse Bay awaits. Once you’ve soaked it all in, head back to the tasting room and find a bottle of the 2017 Gamay Noir to take home.
This waterfront winery has spectacular views of the crystal-clear Omena Bay, that on sunny days seriously looks like the Caribbean Sea. Park your boat at the winery’s marina (yes, very cool), snag a spot below the yellow umbrellas on the patio and sip on one of the more than 50 wines. (We love the 2017 Gewürztraminer and 2013 Baco Noir.) Bonus: Tastings are free at Leelanau Cellars, and the floor-to-ceiling windows by the wine bar make you feel like you’re on the water.
Opened in September 2018, Two K Farms is fairly new to the local wine scene. Do a tasting to find your favorite wines and ciders (you can customize a tasting or try one of the suggested flights: cider purist, fruit forward or award winning). Then settle in with a glass on the porch or next to the all-season fire pit. Both spots have sweeping views of West Grand Traverse Bay.