There are barrels of fun to be had this summer at Leelanau County wineries. Think product releases, live music, new food menus, vineyard tours, carriage rides and so much more. Here’s your Northern Michigan wine scene update:

Aurora Cellars

New Releases: Sparkling pinot grigio Leora, 2020 Pinot Noir, 2021 Sauvignon Blanc and 2021 Rose.
Small Plates: Charcuterie board, asiago artichoke spread made by The Cheese Lady with crostini and potato chips and artisan olives.
Cellar Sundays: Every Sunday through August 28, Aurora Cellars will feature food and drink specials.
Bardenhagen Berries Collaboration: Aurora has started a new collaboration with their farm neighbors, Bardenhagen Berries. To celebrate 150 years of family farming, Bardenhagen is offering tours on Fridays through the month of July. To help celebrate, Aurora Cellars will be serving a Luminous Strawberry Lemonade wine cocktail for those who attend the tour. The cocktail features strawberry puree made from Bardenhagen strawberries.

Good Harbor Vineyards

New Releases: Albariño, Zweigelt, 2021 Pinot Blanc, 2021 Pinot Noir Rose and a 2020 Pinot Noir Zweigelt.
Tasting Room Renovation: Look for a fresh pop of color on the walls, wine display shelves, new marble bar, renovated bathrooms, updated seating area, an electric fireplace, retail area and a mural coming soon.
Small Plates: The tasting room now offers an artisanal charcuterie board and a plate that includes pretzel crisps and Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc (peppercorn or herb). Fudgesicles made by Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate and macaroons made with the winery’s award-winning Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine by Hannah’s in Lake Leelanau.

Photo by Good Harbor Vineyards

Photo by Good Harbor Vineyards

Bel Lago

25 Tuesday: Bel Lago houses the cellar and winemaking team for both French Valley Vineyards and Bel Lago. Cellar tours with the winemaker are available by appointment. A weekly special event during the summer, 25 Tuesday, gives customers 25% off a bottle of wine when they purchase a pizza and there’s live music from 6 to 8 p.m.
Live Music and Huge Pretzels: Live music is scheduled for weekends. Get yourself a HUGE pretzel or gourmet pizza. The outdoor patio overlooks Lake Leelanau.

Black Star Farms

July 14th Pop-Up Wine Dinner: Celebrating land and sea, this five-course wine-paired dining experience will introduce you to several of Black Star’s finest wines. $148 per person, all-inclusive.
Carriage & Wine Adventures: Guests will be treated to a private carriage ride followed by a wine tasting and complimentary appetizer in Hearth & Vine Café. Tickets are $225 per couple. Offered July 14, July 28, August 4 and August 18.
Old Mission Peninsula Tasting Room Expansion: Construction has begun at Black Star’s Old Mission location to expand the patio. More outdoor seating also means more space for friendly pups.
Top Tier Tastings: A new, premium tasting option exclusively available at the estate tasting room in Suttons Bay. Your personal server will guide you through an in-depth exploration of five top-tier wines. House-made charcuterie boxes can be added for an additional cost. The wine tasting-only option costs $25/person and the wine tasting with charcuterie is $37/person. Offered Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are limited to eight people per time slot.
Sunday Funday: Stop in Sundays for a special weekend treat. In addition to a large selection of wines, Black Star will serve a featured cocktail showcasing fruit brandies and dessert wines.
Yoga in the Vines: Enjoy an hour of gentle yoga at the Suttons Bay vineyard. Following yoga, indulge in a complimentary glass or flight of wine. Check-in at 9:30 a.m.; class begins at 10 a.m. every Sunday in July. $40 per person; yoga class without wine, $25 per person.
Estate Tours and Tastings: A one-hour guided walking tour that highlights the vineyard, inn, centennial barn and wine cave. An informative wine and spirits tasting, hosted by your guide, follows the tour. Offered select Mondays and Fridays at 11 a.m. summer through fall.
Reimagined Menu at Hearth & Vine Café: Casual farmstead fare and house-made items featuring wine sauces and vegetables from Black Star’s organic garden.  Family-friendly, lawn games, outdoor patio.

Photo by Black Star Farms

Boathouse Vineyards

Live Music: Boathouse Vineyards, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, looks forward to another fun, relaxing season of music and wine at its tasting room on the Narrows in Lake Leelanau.
New Releases: 2021 Boathouse Bubbly: If you like your wine a touch sweet with a bit of fizz, you’ll love this carbonated off-dry riesling with pear aromas and flavors of melon, pear and a hint of grapefruit. 2020 Icebreaker: This just-released vintage is produced by freezing riesling grapes after harvest, then pressing them—leaving only the concentrated grape juice to be fermented. Aromas of peach and apricot with a sweet peach flavor. 2019 Boathouse Red: Flavors of blackberry and raspberry. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels.

Brengman Brothers

Culinary Program Led by Chef Loghan Call: Loghan Call of Planted Cuisine is the creative energy behind the new culinary program at Brengman Brothers Winery. From individual-sized pizzas using dough from 9 Bean Rows to smorgasbords featuring a selection of local meats and cheeses, the tapas-style menu highlights the bounty of the Northern Michigan agricultural region. Available every day from 2 p.m. until close.

Dune Bird Winery

New Food: Carlson’s whitefish pâté straight from Leland’s Fishtown is served with toasted pita slices and, back by popular demand, crispy vegan spring rolls served with a soy-ginger sauce. Also new, cold brew for iced coffee drinks.
Live Music: Sprinkled throughout the summer: July 16 – Blair Miller; July 24 – Adam Dennis; July 28 – Slater Nalley; August 7 – Luke Woltanksi; August 14 – Adam Dennis; August 26 – Blair Miller; September 16 – Blair Miller; September 18 – Adam Dennis; September 25 – Luke Woltanski.

French Valley Vineyard

Live Music: French Valley has live music every Monday and Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. and a great food menu including kids’ meals. There’s an outdoor pavilion, a sand hill and a playground for kids to play on, not to mention plenty of room for dogs to run and play, too.

Photo by French Valley Vineyard

Cherry Republic

New Product Alert: Mawby and Cherry Republic have collaborated to produce a unique blend of cherry and sparkling white wine called Sustain. A portion of the proceeds support the Great Lakes Business Network. 60% cherry wine and 40% grape wine; $23 per bottle.


New Product Alert: Domaine Leelanau Yarrow. This aperitif made from riesling and high proof grape brandy is infused with lemon verbena, yarrow and elderflower all grown in Northern Michigan. Drink it on its own, with sparkling water or with Mawby sparkling wine. Similar to Cocchi Americano, but local.
Table Four2 is Back: Two people, four wines, four food pairings. Enjoy a private table nestled among the vineyards beneath two old apple trees with carefully curated, and a little unexpected, food and wine pairings. $100 per couple; offered twice a day Monday–Wednesday.
Vineyard Tours: Take a guided tour through Mawby’s Elm Valley Vineyard and learn the 50-year history of the property. You’ll visit the oldest and youngest vines, and taste the wines made from them. Tours are $24 per person and include four wine samples. 90 minute long; offered at 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Summer Sounds Series: Live music. Tickets are $20, required for guests 21 and over and include a glass of wine. All shows start at 6 p.m. and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic. July 15 – Hot Biscuits; July 29 – Djangophonique; August 26 – The Wilson Brothers Live.

Photo by Mawby

Photo by Shady Lane Cellars

Shady Lane Cellars

Wine Slushy: Fans of Frose will want to try Shady Lane Cellars’ FroBlanc, which highlights the winery’s Coop de Blanc made with 100 percent Vignole grapes and has aromatics of juicy pineapple, tangerine, honey, white flowers and ginger. The wine is complemented by the addition of golden lemon syrup and then frozen. Served in a proper wine glass and topped with a Michigan cherry. Each glass is $11.50.

Photo(s) by Aurora Cellars