When Nicole and Bo White purchased the 20-year-old Gill’s Pier tasting room and vineyard in Northport, they wanted to bring something new to the table. So, when laying the plans for their newly opened Dune Bird Winery, they designed a space that’s intentionally geared toward families and non-wine drinkers, offering espresso and small plates, too.
The renovated tasting room is bright and open with two glass garage doors (one for indoor/outdoor bar service when the weather allows), stainless-steel countertops, oversized leather furniture, sheepskin rugs and a blue velvet couch tucked in front of a fireplace.
Photo by Allison Jarrell
Related Read: BOS Wine Brings Back-to-Basics Farming to Northern Michigan.
“The mood is cozy and warm, intentionally shunning commercial-grade for, dare I say, living room,” Nicole says. The couple’s two children helped create “Dune Bird Boxes,” filling them with decks of cards, matchbox cars, stickers and crayons. There are also kids’ books and games, and come summer, a playset and sandbox so parents can relax with a sip while kids stay busy.
Nicole and Bo are “very much in phase one” with the project, and guests can expect some fun additions in the coming months, including an expansive outdoor seating area, live music, a barn venue for weddings and events like pop-up vendor shows and a few “secret-for-now things” in the works.
What to Order at Dune Bird Winery
Woolsey’s Red, a blend of blaufränkisch, cabernet franc and syrah, is a favorite of Dune Bird’s winemaker Drew Perry, and is “a beautifully complex, robust red with incredibly layered notes of dark fruit and crushed herbs,” he says. Pair it with gouda-filled mac ‘n’ cheese balls. The Pure Leland sparkling pinot gris, another of Drew’s top picks, is just right with anything crunchy or salty, like the flaky spanakopita.