It’s not uncommon to see groups of young women, very often bachelorette parties, hopping from winery to winery via limousine along Midwest wine trails. Wine tasting is a popular date among couples, too, standing at the tasting bar, sipping a half dozen or so wines and then moving on to the next winery along the trail. In the past couple of decades the number of wineries in the Midwest has exploded. It seems the more wineries on a trail, the more popular the trail. Traverse City, Michigan, and nearby Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are home to over 50 wineries. The area is a magnet for wine lovers. We visited some of the Traverse City wineries during our recent visit.
Unless you are planning to do nothing other than visit wineries during your Traverse City trip, you won’t have time to get to all of them. You’ll have to pick and choose. Wine connoisseurs will have their own method of deciding which wineries to visit, but the casual wine sipper may want to either visit all of the wineries on a section of a trail, or visit one or two in an area and move on.
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When my husband and I visited Traverse City, we had a full itinerary, so our winery time was limited, as was our alcohol capacity, since we had already visited a distillery that afternoon. We tasted wine at three wineries, all on Leelanau Peninsula. All three tasting rooms we visited had a common thread: sparkling wine.
L. Mawby Winery
The first winery we visited was L. Mawby, the area leader in sparkling wines. The tasting room overlooks the vineyards.
bigLITTLE Tasting Room
We walked next door to the bigLITTLE tasting room, on L. Mawby’s property where brothers Peter and Michael Laing, who studied under L. Mawby, offer tastes of their craft wines, including sparkling wines. The Laings began making wine with 2,000 vines their parents had planted on a former cherry orchard.
Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery
Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery was our last stop. It was here that we found out that they, like many other vintners in the area, use L. Mawby’s services for the process of putting the bubbles in the bubblies, as the required equipment is very expensive. We also tasted ice wine at Bel Lago, only the second time I had ever had it. To create ice wine the grapes are left on the vine until frozen to create a sweet dessert wine.
We would have visited more wineries had the afternoon not gotten away from us. As it was, we were ready to turn into the drive of a winery on Old Mission Peninsula when the “Closed” sign went up. So instead of tasting wine, we took a drive through the peninsula, the beauty of the vineyards and cherry blossoms as much a treat on the eyes as the wine was on the tongue.
Traverse City Wineries – More Info
For further information on Traverse City wineries, visit the Travers City Tourism web site.
Accommodations in Traverse City
We stayed at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme, Michigan, during our visit to the Traverse City area. Check rates here.
Disclosures: Traverse City Tourism hosted our visit to the Traverse City area. However, any opinions expressed in this post are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link. If you book a room through the “Check rates here” link above, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
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