When looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, visiting a local winery often comes to mind. And, since we spend so much time in Michigan, it only made sense to do a little research to find the best wineries in Northern Michigan.
How many wineries are in Northern Michigan?
Surprisingly, there are over 40 wineries in Northern Michigan. The state itself has over 140 – WOW! With this number, you’d be hard-pressed to visit Michigan and not find a winery nearby.
Are there wine trails in Northern Michigan?
With over 40 wineries in Northern Michigan, you can bet that there are a few wine trails! Two of the best include the Petoskey wine region (my favorite) and the Old Mission Peninsula wine trail.
Northern Michigan Wineries near Traverse City
South of the Petoskey Wine Trail and north of Traverse City is the Old Mission Peninsula wine trail. This trail includes 10 distinct wineries along a peninsula. As a vibrant, lakeside city, in addition to the wine trail, you’ll find plenty of outdoor activities, top-notch restaurants, and unique boutiques in nearby Traverse City.
1. Peninsula Cellars
Located in an old schoolhouse, the tasting room at Peninsula Cellars is truly unique. In addition to many of your standard varietals, Peninsula Cellars nods at the schoolhouse history with interesting blends with clever names such as Exchange Student and Detention. Fun, right?
2. 2 Lads Winery
With breathtaking views of East Grand Traverse Bay and a modern tasting room, 2 Lads Winery is a standout on the Old Mission Peninsula wine trail. One of their specialties is sparkling wines, so between the streamlined designs and the unique wines, it’s a wonderful change of pace from some of the more traditional wineries in the area.
3. Mari Vineyards
As an estate vineyard, all of Mari’s grapes are grown in Northern Michigan. In addition, Mari specializes in traditional Italian wines (but with a bit of a modern twist). A unique feature of Mari Vineyards is their 8000 square feet of wine caves which are buried more than 10 feet underground.
Between their gorgeous tasting room and special wine caves, it’s definitely one to include on your tour of the Old Mission Peninsula wineries.
Other Old Mission Peninsula Wineries
The rest of the Old Mission Peninsula Wineries are scattered along the peninsula and could easily keep you busy tasting delicious wines for days. These wineries include Black Star Farms, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, Chateau Chantal, Chateau Grand Traverse, Hawthorne Vineyards, and Tabone Vineyards.
Don’t want to drive from winery to winery? Check out this highly rated (5 stars!) 4-hour Traverse City Sunset Wine Tour and let someone else handle the logistics while you just enjoy the wine!
Petoskey Wine Region
The Petoskey Wine Trail consists of 14 wineries in Petoskey and the surrounding cities. The trail also has a fun passport you can purchase to get money off tastings at all of the wineries located on the trail. Check it out if you plan to visit a few of them – might be worth investing in.
Most of the wineries on the Petoskey Wine Trail also offer ciders (YUM!) and a few have attached breweries and/or distilleries.
4. Boyne Valley Vineyards
One of Boyne Valley Vineyards top-selling wines also happens to be one of my favorite Michigan wines, their Cayuga White. With a smooth, dry flavor, it’s an ideal wine for sipping on a gorgeous blue-sky Michigan day.
The tasting room is large and airy with plenty of space for enjoying delicious wine and yummy food. In the summer the doors are wide open and you’ll find plenty of outdoor seating, and in the winter, the winery is a lovely place to warm up after enjoying snowshoeing on one of the vineyards trails.
The winter also brings igloos to Boyne Valley Vineyards which is fantastic if you’d like a bit more privacy during your visit.
Snowshoes are really quite affordable and once you’ve invested in a pair, you are ready to enjoy a snowy winter day from a new perspective! If you’d like to be prepared for the winter season, pick up a pair of your own here – you’ll never look at a fresh snowfall the same again!
5. Walloon Lake Winery
Perched up on a hill overlooking the vineyards and a cute little garden is Walloon Lake Winery. Grab a glass of their award-winning wine, or select a tasting (four wines of your choice) and take your drinks out to the back patio or under the nearby covered space.
On a nice day, the winery is busy with families visiting and chatting over a glass of wine. There are even hula hoops to help keep the kids occupied!
6. Burnt Marshmallow Brewery and Rudbekia Winery
When is the last time you visited a winery that also housed a few pigs? This was definitely my first time. In addition to the cute pigs, you can enjoy a decadent stout from the brewery, wine from the winery, or even a mixed drink from the distillery.
Truly something for everyone!
Grab a glass of your favorite and head outside to listen to live music, play some bocce ball or horseshoes, or just relax with a snack and your drink.
7. Pond Hill Farm Winery
Pond Hill Farm isn’t just a winery, it’s an entire experience. My last visit to Pond Hill was in the winter, and there was still plenty to enjoy.
While visiting Pond Hill Farm Winery, in addition to trying their different wines and beers, you can enjoy a full meal. There is also a little store full of local wares, and unique activities such as a gnome hunt, a Biergarten tent, visiting the livestock, and more. The whole family can have a fun time visiting the farm!
The rest of the wineries that comprise the Petoskey Wine Trail are The Mackinaw Trail Winery, Resort Pike Cidery & Winery, Petoskey Farms Vineyard & Winery, Maple Moon Sugarbush & Winery, Crooked Vine Vineyard & Winery, Seasons of the North, Spare Key Winery, 1918 Cellars, The Cellars at Royal Farms and Cellar 1914.
Looking for more things to do in the Petoskey area? Check out this post with ideas for the perfect family day in Petoskey!
Where to stay when visiting wineries in Northern Michigan
Many of these wineries are a bit off the beaten path, so plan on driving (have a designated driver in your group) or consider a wine bus. Due to the sometimes rural locations, it makes sense to stay in one of the nearby towns.
Ready to book your wine bus? Check out this 5-Hour Traverse City Wine Tour: 4 Wineries on Old Mission Peninsula. Rated 5 stars with over 900 reviews!!!
If you are planning on enjoying the Petoskey Wine Trail, a hotel in Petoskey or a room at the Grand Mountain Lodge in Boyne Falls would be ideal overnight spots.
For visiting the wineries in Northern Michigan closer to Traverse City, make Traverse City your base of operations.
Best Wineries in Northern Michigan with lodging
There are a few wineries in Northern Michigan with lodging, so if you really want to immerse yourself in a wine-themed weekend, give one of these options a try.
8. Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery
Part of the Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail, Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery is one of the oldest and most established wineries in Northern Michigan.
In addition to an outstanding tasting room with a large outdoor deck, and extensive gardens to explore is a barn that has been converted to a 2-bedroom guest house. Perfect for a small group to take full advantage of what Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery has to offer!
9. Chateau Grand Traverse
With six tastefully decorated guest rooms, the Inn at Chateau Grand Traverse offers a way to extend your winery visit. Each room has a private balcony where you can relax with a glass of their wine and enjoy views of Grand Traverse Bay.
Additional Wineries in Northern Michigan with lodging
On the Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail, both Black Star Farms and Chateau Chantal offer lodging options. With four of the ten wineries offering a place to stay as well as charming tasting rooms, it would be easy to put together an enjoyable wine weekend!
Not interested in staying at a winery? No worries, check out Booking.com for the best pricing in Petoskey or Traverse City.
What is the best time to visit wineries in Northern Michigan?
Luckily, any time of the year is the best time to visit the wineries in Northern Michigan. If it’s summer, you can enjoy hopping from winery to winery and soaking up the sunshine outside.
If it’s winter, many of the wineries have igloos, roaring fires, and trails for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
Fall and spring weather is a bit iffier, but hit your winery visits on the right day and you’ll enjoy amazing foliage in the fall and bright green new growth in the spring. Beautiful!
Why are there so many wineries in Northern Michigan?
Some of the best wineries in Northern Michigan are located in the region due to the climate. Thanks to the great lakes and the location on the 45th parallel, the temperature is perfectly suited for growing a number of different varieties of grapes.
In fact, the grapes grown (and the wine made) in Northern Michigan tend to be closer to European wines versus West Coast wines. Interesting, right?
Conclusion: The Best Wineries in Northern Michigan
Northern Michigan wineries are well worth visiting. With so many delicious and fun options, you could spend many enjoyable days exploring all the wonderful wines and wineries the area has to offer.
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