/Tag: winery

Northern Michigan Winery Guide (Infographic)

Northern Michigan Winery Guide graphic

In honor of Michigan Wine Month Traverse Traveler created the Northern Michigan Winery Guide. This at-a-glance reference is designed to help travelers who are wine tasting in the Traverse City, Michigan region.

Which winery should you visit?

With 45 tasting rooms near Traverse City—and counting— it’s hard to decide where to go. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. However, we can offer some guidance to help you make an educated decision for your next wine tasting adventure. When you ask us which winery to visit we often answer with more questions:

Are you visiting Leelanau Peninsula, Old Mission Peninsula or another part of our region?

Are you wine tasting only, or are you looking for cider or mead?

Do you want vineyard views, or a view of the water?

Every winery has something unique to offer their guests. For the Northern Michigan Winery Guide we focused on answers to commonly asked questions. We gathered information on tasting fees. We noted the wineries with wine clubs. And, since destination weddings in Traverse City are so popular, we highlighted wineries equipped to host special events. This infographic provides the answers to the most common questions about planning a wine tour in Traverse City.

The Northern Michigan Winery Guide

Northern Michigan Winery Guide infographic

Click the image for a downloadable PDF

How to Get There

One of the best reasons to spend the day wine tasting in northern Michigan is taking the opportunity to explore our beautiful area. The vineyards and orchards, rural landscapes and small towns are part of the wine tasting experience. The scenic route is your path to adventure.

To help navigate from one winery to the next, use the Traverse Traveler app. The geo-location feature will sort the listings to show wineries closest to you. And you can use the maps to get turn-by-turn navigation.

We’re Growing All the Time

It’s important to note our wine region is growing and changing all the time. We anticipate new additions, updates and edits to the Northern Michigan Winery Guide. If you have new information that would help us keep it current, or tips for categories you’d like to see in the future, please leave us a comment or contact us.

Cheers!

©Traverse Traveler and TraverseTraveler.com. Content and links may be shared provided that full credit is given to Traverse Traveler and TraverseTraveler.com with direction to the original content. Unauthorized use and/or duplication without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited.

By |2018-12-12T08:51:55+00:00May 16th, 2018|Travel Tips, Wineries|0 Comments

Left Foot Charley Hosts Riesling March Madness

Battle of the Rieslings

Who needs basketball match-ups when you can battle it out to see which Riesling reigns supreme! Left Foot Charley is getting in on the March Madness with a Riesling wine contest.

Beginning Thursday March 15 and running for four weeks they will match up current and previous vintages of Left Foot Charley Riesling in a bracket-style tournament. Stop by their winery located at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons to taste, compare and vote for the winners on Thursday and Friday of each week.

Left Foot Charley has chosen 8 wines for the field that range from dry to sweet, pulling from vintages as far back as 2008, including a rare Riesling collaboration never previously offered for tasting or for sale.

The cost is $5 for the samples and the opportunity to vote. Guests who participate each week will be entered to win a $25 Left Foot Charley gift certificate.

We can’t resist a good Riesling, and Left Foot Charley has been producing them for years. Get in on the March fun and join the Riesling Madness. Specialty food pairings from Trattoria Stella as well as cheese and accoutrements will also be available for purchase. Glass pours and bottle sales are a way to extend the enjoyment – and perhaps pick up something unexpected.

Cheers!

By |2018-12-12T09:18:08+00:00March 15th, 2018|Events, Wineries|2 Comments

10 Places I've Never Been: Chateau de Leelanau

10 Places I've Never Been image

 

This summer I’m on a mission to explore uncharted territory in my own backyard, and improve Michigan’s economy one purchase at a time.

 

The strategy is simple. Visit 10 places I’ve never been before…just because, I’ve never been. Next on my list: Chateau de Leelanau Winery

Chateau de Leelanau winery image

Chateau de Leelanau Winery

When it comes to wine, I prefer to drink local. Since I live in the heart of northern Michigan wine country and work with several wineries I’ve had the opportunity to visit many tasting rooms. But until this summer I’d never been to Chateau de Leelanau. And it’s not because it’s off the beaten path. In fact, Chateau de Leelanau is on one of the most well traversed highways in the area, M-22, at the beginning of the Leelanau Wine Trail. And yet so many people pass them by. I wanted to find out why.

Matt Gregory Chateau de Leelanau image

Matt Gregory, vintner, greeter and face of Chateau de Leelanau, was in the tasting room on the fateful day I walked through the door and sprang the news of my 10 Places I’ve Never Been series. Much like his wine industry cohorts he generously offered his time and some wine samples to walk me through the history of Chateau de Leelanau.

 

I’d like to say you can’t miss their tasting room, located on M-22 next to E. Hilltop Road, but the truth is so many people do. And that’s one thing the new owners are determined to change.

Chateau de Leelanau tasting room

Those who remember the former tasting space will not recognize the building since Matt and his family moved in. They’ve cleared out the dusty tchotchkes, expanded the tasting bar and reinvented their brand with a simple clean logo. The goal: to rebuild the reputation of a winery born in the new millenium, and reborn in 2010.

 

While Matt and his family are new to the wine business, they are certainly not new to agriculture. In fact, that’s how they ended up with a winery in the first place. The tasting room for Chateau de Leelanau sits on M-22 just south of Suttons Bay. But the vineyard is several miles north — right next door to the Gregory family orchards, aka: Cherry Bay Orchards and Shoreline Fruit. When the winery and vineyards went up for sale, it seemed like a good time to make some wine.

Chateau de Leelanau wine imageChateau de Leelanau wine image

I arrived in the winery for my tasting the same day Matt submitted his wines to the Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition for the first time. Since they’re a new winery, with less than a dozen wines for 2010, he sent them all. But the Gregory family didn’t join the wine ranks for the medals.

Chateau de Leelanau glass imageChateau de Leelanau wine image

"We want to create palatte pleasing wines for the customers, that represent the agricultural background of Leelanau County," Matt explained. The industry folks often preach dry, dry, dry but nearly 90% of Chateau de Leelanau’s customers want sweet, sweet, sweet. The challenge is to produce wines that bring a smile to all their lips.

 Chateau de Leelanau labels imageChateau de Leelanau cider imageChateau de Leelanau wine image

After trying the wines, I was quite surprised by my favorites. Typically I prefer sweet whites, and while I like their Select Harvest, and signature Bianca, that’s not what I left with. I fell for a bottle of red, Solem Farm Red to be exact. It’s the perfect backyard BBQ, easy-to-drink, red wine. My second surprise was their Hard Apple Cider. The unusual combination of Sweetango™, Northern Spy and Golden Delicious apples, grown on the family farm, makes for a fabulous hard cider.

 

Little known fact: the Cherry Wine and Hard Apple Cider are Chateau de Leelanau’s best sellers and neither were in their sights when they set out to make wine. This year Chateau de Leelanau will produce 1000 cases of Cherry wine, compared to a very limited supply of their signature Bianca, at just over 40 cases.

Chateau de Leelanau wine imageChateau de Leelanau wine corralChateau de Leelanau walkup window
 

If there’s one thing that stands out about Matt and the approach at Chateau de Leelanau it’s their laid-back style.

"We’re farmers, man! We’re not a snooty joint,"

Matt explained as he showed off one of their latest additions. They’ve fenced in a ‘wine corral’ just outside the building, complete with a window for walk-up service. This summer guests will be able to relax and enjoy a taste or a glass while they soak up the sun with friends and family. And after hearing about weekend specials like Cherry Sangria (see their recipe on our

Summer Sippers: Cocktails from Northern Michigan

post) and the infamous cherry wine snowcone…I’m definitely coming back this summer!

Chateau de Leelanau wines imageChateau de Leelanau open sign

Before I left I had to get some food and wine pairings from the winemaker. So next time you’re debating a menu, give these a try:

>> Cherry Wine paired with pulled pork tacos

>> Bianca with bacon-wrapped scallops

>> Solem Farm Red & anything off the backyard BBQ

Vintner’s Picks: 2010 Cab Franc and 2010 Pinot Noir

 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the "family five" that make up the Chateau de Leelanau crew.

Don Gregory: The patriarch of Cherry Bay Orchards, one of the state’s largest cherry growers and production facilities

Matt Gregory: Nephew to Don, my host with the most, face of Chateau de Leelanau, and vintner

Roger Veliquette: The "food science guy," Roger crossed over from the Great Lakes Packing Company and brings years of experience to the table to tackle day-to-day aspects of winemaking

Andrew Gregory: Brother to Matt, who work for the marketing arm of the family cherry business, Shoreline Fruit

Mark Miezeo: Cousin to Andrew and Matt, and farm manager

Chateau de Leelanau truck image

Chateau de Leelanau is located on M-22 south of Sutton’s Bay at the intersection of E. Hilltop Road, that’s 5048 S. West Bayshore Dr, Suttons Bay for those using a GPS. For more information reach them by phone at 231.271.8888 or visit them online at chateaudeleelanau.com. Show them some love by becoming a fan of their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @CDLwinery You can also find them on the Traverse Traveler iPhone app — our free mobile guide to the Traverse Area. Download on iTunes here.

 

If there’s a place in northern Michigan you’ve been dying to visit, but you’ve never made the time, I’d like to hear about it. Join the conversation on the Traverse Traveler Facebook page, and let me know where you’re going.

 

And stay tuned, as I plan to explore the next stop on my 10 Places I’ve Never Been tour:  Korner Gem.

By |2011-07-13T21:37:15+00:00July 13th, 2011|Leelanau, Place's I've Never Been|0 Comments

Hearth and Vine Opens for Dinner

Black Star Farms announces the opening of Hearth & Vine serving dinner to the public Wednesday through Sunday evenings.
 
 
Black Star Farms, already well known for its award-winning wines and cheeses, is now serving dinner in Hearth & Vine, a vineyard café, at the Suttons Bay farm featuring wood-fired fare in a rustic yet elegant atmosphere.
 
The weekly menu at Hearth & Vine draws on ingredients produced on the farm, including pork and lamb, fresh eggs, 9 Bean Rows hoop house vegetables and hearth baked breads, and of course, Leelanau Cheese Co. cheeses and Black Star Farms wines.  It’s truly a celebration of agriculture.
 
From late spring through fall, Hearth & Vine is open daily serving delicious wood-fired pizzas and sandwiches as well as soups and salads. Black Star Farms wine is available by the glass or bottle along with soft drinks, coffee and tea. Lunch and snacks can be enjoyed out on the terrace or indoors in the cozy cafe.
 
On the market side they’re all about local.  Black Star Farms farm-fresh eggs and fruits and vegetables from their and neighboring farms are offered seasonally.  Pastries, cookies and 9 Bean Rows hearth-baked breads, Black Star Farms maple syrup, verjus and kettle cooked jams and preserves, and the best of other locally produced items are also available.
 
Hearth and Vine is now open for dinner Wednesday-Sunday from 5pm to 9pm.  Seating is limited and reservations are appreciated.  For reservations, please call 231.944.1297

By |2010-02-03T18:28:18+00:00February 3rd, 2010|Leelanau, Restaurants, Wineries|0 Comments

Harvest Festivus at Left Foot Charley 10-4

harvest festivus Left Foot CharleyCelebrate the grape harvest at Left Foot Charley

 

Put on your lederhosen and head to Left Foot Charley in The Village this Sunday October 4th from 12:00 – 6:00pm for the annual Harvest Festivus celebration.

 

 

  • Free brats with any wine purchase (come early they go fast)
  • Carriage rides through through the Commons, noon – 2:00pm
  • Live music, 3:00 – 5:00pm
  • Don’t miss the new Hard Cider, it’s back and better than ever.

 

By |2009-09-30T19:43:10+00:00September 30th, 2009|Events, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

Black Star Farms Celebrates 10 Years

Black Star Farms wineStop by Black Star Farms this July for Anniversary Specials

In honor of their 10 year anniversary Black Star Farms is celebrating all month long. Stop by their tasting rooms in Suttons Bay, Old Mission Peninsula and TASTES in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons for a few unique opportuniities only available this month…or while supplies last.

 

Bring home a special anniversary label Pinot Gris for $10 (if you can find any left) or a bottle of Pinot Noir for only $12.50. Better hurry though, they were out of the Pinot Gris in Suttons Bay already!

Are you a returning BSF customer? Bring you tasting glass with you and receive a coupon for a 10 year annivesary logo glass with any $10 wine purchase.

Check out the new Fire & Vine cafe and receive 10% off your order of a wood-fired oven pizza and two glasses of wine.

Specials last until July 31st, or while supplies last.

 

There’s never a bad time to visit Black Star Farms wineries and tasting rooms. Check out our On The Vine photo gallery to see Black Star Farms vines develop over the course of one growing season.

By |2009-07-12T14:02:41+00:00July 12th, 2009|Attractions, Events, Leelanau, Wineries|0 Comments

Wine on Tap at Left Foot Charley

 Urban Winery Adds Food and New Wines on Tap

Left Foot Charley, located in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, now features a regular menu of small bites to enjoy along with your tasting selections. The Wine Bar at Left Foot Charley includes fantastic dishes that are healthy, local and pair fabulously with wine. Choose from nearly a dozen options including;

  • The Ploughman’s Lunch:  Denhay Farms Cheddar, fresh bread, olives, and Sopressata salami
  • Left Turn: curry hummus, pita and cukes
  • The Goat: goat cheese, fig, walnut spread and baguette toasts

In an effort to be more cost-effective and eco-friendly, Left Foot Charley is now dispensing some select wines on tap. Bring in your own 1 liter bottle, or buy a wine growler and they’ll fill it on site. They currently feature Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc and Riesling MD.

For more information on Left Foot Charley, including a map to their location, visit our Dining & Wineries page.

By |2009-03-30T10:36:25+00:00March 30th, 2009|Attractions, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

Fromage & Pasta at Left Foot Charley

Left Foot Charley card graphicA Thanksgiving Event to Support the Northern Michigan Health Clinic

 

Help put the "Thanks" and "Giving" back into Thanksgiving by enjoying some Fromage and Pasta provided by Trattoria Stella Chef Myles Anton. On Saturday November 29th from 11am – 7pm stop by the winery for a festive food and wine pairing and offer your goodwill donation to support the Northern Michigan Health Clinic. Chef Anton’s creations are always exotic and enticing, and Bryan will select a special vintage to match.

The Northern Michigan Health Clinic serves the region’s farm workers. Trattoria Stella and Left Foot Charley are creating this fun event to say "Thanks" to those who work so hard all season long. The wine industry does not exist without healthy men and women to tend to the grapes.

 

100% of the food is donated by Trattoria Stella and 100% of the proceeds go to the clinic.

 

Left Foot Charley is located in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons on Red Drive. Trattoria Stella is there as well, in Building 50. For more information on The Village click here.

By |2008-11-26T10:52:08+00:00November 26th, 2008|Check This Out, Events, Restaurants, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

Harvest Festivus at Left Foot Charley

 wine tasting at Left Foot CharleyCelebrate the Grape Harvest with Left Foot Charley on Sunday, October 5th

Join winemaker Bryan Ulbrich and all the Left Foot Charley crew as they take advantage of the last chance for relaxation before the busy harvest season begins.

 

On Sunday, October 5th from 12-6pm they’ll be partying at The Village. Enjoy free brats/dogs, music from Don Julin, wine by the glass, hard cider, a grape stomp, apple bobbing, fresh pretzels and all kinds of fun.

 

No reservations needed. Bring the kids! For more information on Left Foot Charley visit their website.

By |2008-10-03T09:26:56+00:00October 3rd, 2008|Check This Out, Events, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

Northern Michigan Wine Summit at Park Place Hotel

 Join wineries from across the area for the 2nd Annual Northern Michigan Wine Summit on Monday, April 28, 2008 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm at the Park Place Hotel. Taste regional wines, get a preview some of the NEW wineries opening soon, and meet the winemakers as they gather to share the fruits of their harvest. Public welcome.

 

By |2008-04-28T10:05:44+00:00April 28th, 2008|Check This Out, Events, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

DC Restaurant Features Traverse Area Wine & Spirits

The wines of Black Star Farms and the new cherry vodka from True North have recently been featured at Oya Restaurant & Lounge in Washington, DC. In a recent TV interview with Fox DC, Andrew Stover, sommelier at Oya and Michigan native, paired three wines with a sampling of OYA sushi; one of which was from Black Star Farms.

This month, in celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, they’ve created a signature drink. The "blossomtini" is made from True North Cherry Vodka, Paringa Sparkling Shiraz wine, sour mix and grenadine. 

By |2008-03-17T12:07:51+00:00March 17th, 2008|Check This Out, Restaurants, Wineries|0 Comments