Just two miles outside of downtown Petoskey on E. Mitchell Road, Gabriel Farms’ lush, rolling landscape is lined with rows of cold-hardy wine grapes, apple trees, raspberry bushes and haskaps (tart berries that look like an elongated blueberry). A historic farmhouse and barn welcome guests as they drive up.
The centennial farm dates back to the late 1800s when two brothers were deeded the land after fighting in the Civil War. They grew corn and oats and raised cattle. Current owners Kristi and Duane Schuil purchased the farm in 1999 from the families of the brothers.
“After some life changes, we needed a new opportunity to pursue as a family and searched the Emmet and Charlevoix county real estate markets for an old farm/farmhouse to renovate,” Duane says. “This farm had been left fallow for 12 to 15 years, and the house was uninhabitable. We spent the first year stripping the interior, wiring the whole place and reconfiguring walls, rooms and windows, with care toward saving the original woodwork such as wainscoting and molding, then piecing it all back together, creating a modernized original farmhouse.”
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The Schuils also wrapped the home with a veranda, and today guests can rent one of four bedrooms or a private apartment in a separate building via Airbnb.
Those who just want to visit for an afternoon can pick berries and apples, with a beverage in hand (the farm’s liquor license extends across all 20 acres and guests are encouraged to walk the property). The winery and brewery are the farm’s newest amenities, opened in June 2020, with three whites, two reds and a rosé currently on the menu, along with constantly rotating beers, estate hard ciders and seltzer, too, all crafted by Kristi’s son, Keith Hansen. Kristi’s favorites are the dry rosé, which is a blend of Frontenac gris and Marquette grapes, and the German-style Kölsch.
There’s also live music throughout the summer, lots of lawn games (corn-hole, bocce and more), dogs are welcome and so is outside food if you want to have a picnic or pizza with your brew. “In winter, people can bring their own snowshoes if they want to explore the property,”Kristi says.“We just want them to enjoy being out here.”
Gabriel Farms also offers various event packages, from half a day to three days, for weddings, rehearsal dinners, graduation parties, birthdays, craft nights, book clubs—whatever suits your fancy.
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