Traverse City has become a top destination for Michigan wine tourism. Together, the Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula appelations are home to the largest concentration of wineries in the state. We may be known for cherries, but our agricultural traditions extend beyond the orchard to the vine. The first grapes were planted in 1974 by Edward O’Keefe Jr. of Chateau Grand Traverse. Today, more than 30 wineries throughout the region proudly display medals of accomplishment for vintages that reflect the flavors of our distinct terrior. From sweet fruit wines and late harvest whites, to fruit-forward, luscious reds, Michigan wine is a must-try on your trip to Traverse.
Did you know?
Traverse City’s location along the 45th parallel bisects the most renowned wine regions of the world including France, Croatia, and Italy. The climate protection provided by East and West Grand Traverse Bays, and a wintery blanket of lake effect snow, create ideal conditions for growing cool climate varietals like Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc.
Tips and Resources for Wine Tasting in Northern Michigan
• Bring some cash for tasting fees, souvenirs and tips
• You can’t hit them all. Stick to one peninsula and choose a few must-see locations. Stop at tasting rooms you find along the way.
• Download our app to plan your wine tour
– Discover nearby wineries as the app geo-locates and sorts by what’s closest to you
– Use the map feature as a GPS so you can enjoy the scenic route without getting lost
– Find off-the-beaten-path locations and boutique wineries you might otherwise miss
– Save listings to your “Favorites” to create a custom wine tour Winetasting is a great way to explore the northern Michigan landscape, and sample the fruits of our labor. Check out our Wine Tasting Tips (video) before you head out on the wine trail.