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One Tank Trip To Wine Country

by Kim Brixton

Perhaps you 'fancy' vino.

Perhaps a visit to The Leelanau Penninsula is in your future this summer:

Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

1. Brengman Brothers Crain Hill Vineyards

9720 S Center Hwy

Traverse City, MI 49684

Phone: (231)946-2764

Email: crainhill@brengmanbrothers.com


The vineyard and tasting facility are located in Elmwood Township, bordering on Traverse City limits on West Bay. The 45 acre vineyard is planted to produce viniferous grape varieties, including Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay and Pino Noir. The fine soil, the angle of sun exposure and the desirable airflow off the bay, promise to result in high quality wines. Brengman Brother’s commitment is to take advantage of these gifts of nature and produce the finest wines from the Leelanau Peninsula’s most southern corner. Call for times open.

2. Shady Lane Cellars

9580 Shady Lane

Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Phone: (231)947-8865

Fax: (231)947-7616

Email: info@shadylanecellars.com


Our vineyard, winery and tasting room are located between Traverse City and Suttons Bay on the Leelanau Peninsula. We welcome you to visit us and experience beautiful Northern Michigan, our vineyards, and of course the wines we are so proud of.

3. Chateau de Leelanau Vineyard and Winery

5048 South West Bayshore Drive

Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Phone: (231) 271-8888

Email: contact@chateaudeleelanau.com


Chateau de Leelanau is on the front end of a fast growing wine industry in Michigan on the Leelanau Peninsula. Owner & cardiologist Roberta Kurtz, began the vineyard & winery out of a special love for Michigan agriculture. The vineyard and winery was founded in 1990 in Suttons Bay, Michigan, just north of Traverse City. As a cardiologist, Roberta knows about the benefits of wine for the heart. We specialize in European vinifera and hybrid grapes, several of which are rich in anti-oxidants. Veteran winemakers John Fletcher and Vera Klokocka combine their craft with a love for the vines, a desire to let the grapes speak for themselves, and a passion for expressing over a dozen styles of wines for you to enjoy. Their experience in cold-climate varietals is reflected in numerous award-winning vintages. Our wines have been recognized for their quality, freshness and complex allure with a continuing series of awards since the first vintage in 1999. Recent Honors include medals at the Michigan Wine and Spirits Competition. Visit our Suttons Bay Tasting Room just off of M-22 at Hilltop Corners- 5048 S. West Bayshore Drive or our Frankenmuth Tasting Room across the street from River Place Plaza- 976 S. Main Street. Phone number for our other tasting room on our website.

4. Willow Vineyards

10702 East Hilltop Road

Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Phone: (231) 271-4810

Email: crampt3630@aol.com


Features twelve acres of vineyards, located on the hills overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay. We emphasize the European wine making style.

5. Ciccone Vineyards

10343 East Hilltop Rd.

Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Phone: (231) 271-5551

Fax: (231) 271-5552

Email: cicconewines@aol.com


The vineyard sits in panoramic view of Grand Traverse Bay and the rolling hills of the Leelanau Peninsula. Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir embrace the landscape. Our tasting room is open to the public during normal business hours listed on our web site. There is no charge for tasting. If you are bringing a group of 12 or more for wine tasting, it's appreciated if you call ahead to make sure we have enough staff to accommodate your group.

6. L. Mawby Vineyards

4519 S. Elm Valley Road

Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Phone: (231)271-3522

Fax: (231)271-2927

Email: larry@lmawby.com


Our tasting room is open year-round, with varying hours each season. May - October Hours: Monday - Saturday 12 Noon - 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 Noon - 5 p.m. November - April: Thursday - Saturday 12 Noon - 5 p.m. Visits at other times are available by appointment. Some of the wines we produce are available for sale only in our tasting room and here on the web, notably Sandpiper. We always offer at least two wines for tasting free of charge, and feature paid tasting flights of two or three sparkling wines accompanied with cheese or pate and crackers, for a cost of between $5 and $7, depending upon the number of wines. Our first vines were planted in the spring of 1973, and have been increased with later plantings. Today our vineyards cover about 18 acres and include the vinifera varieties pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, and pinot meunier and the direct producer varieties vignoles, seyval and regent. We have been producing wines here since 1978, and the emphasis is on sparkling wines, both methode champenoise and cuve close. Our current annual production is about 8,000 cases, and the winemaking style remains pure -- small lots made with minimal handling. We are certainly one of a very few producers in North America who make sparkling wine their main focus.

7. Black Star Farms Tasting Room & Inn - Leelanau Peninsula

10844 E. Revold Rd

Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Phone: (231)944-1270

Email: clopez@blackstarfarms.com




Twelve miles north of Traverse City and just off M-22 you’ll find our main tasting room located on the farm. It’s housed in a unique post-and-beam building and features an elliptical tasting bar. Our friendly and informative staff is ready to help you through your tasting of our extensive list of wines, ciders, brandies and dessert wines. Whether you’re a novice or a connoisseur, you’re bound to discover a new favorite to take home. We are open daily from May to November, Monday-Saturday from 10-6 and Sunday from 11-5. From November to May, Monday-Saturday from 11-5 and Sunday from 11-5. Our distinctive Inn is also located on the farm and is nestled below a hillside of vineyards. The Inn features eight luxurious guestrooms with an exceptional package of services and amenities including full breakfasts and dining options.

8. Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery

8580 E. Horn Road

Lake Leelanau, MI 49653

Phone: (231)271-1188


Winter in Michigan is a special event, those of us who have experienced it form a common bond with fellow winterites. Pristine knee deep white snow, cerulean blue skies, and air that is inhaled slowly to assure a non-heart stopping shock, are remembrances of winter at its best. Three generations of Grossnickles, grandfather, father, and son, and best friend, visited the winery under these exact conditions. We tasted the still young wines that Shawn and David have perfected, and I must say they are spectacular. Was it the weather, the familial brotherhood, or just the wine influencing our prejudicial tasting? We all agreed, it was the wine. We tasted from the driest to the sweetest, Pinot Gris to late harvest Vignole, and in the end all saluted Shawn, the winemaker and our cellarmaster, David Hill for their efforts. They showed us all how to tap the 1500 gallon tanks, a mistake on their part, and we all being quick studies, made the best of the new found knowledge. He had to help us, however siphon sample directly from the French Oak barrel aged Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Prejudiced, yes, but yummy and spectacular are the adjectives we all used.

9. Tandem Ciders

2055 N. Setterbo Road

Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Phone: (231)271-0050



A unique stop on the Leelanau wine trail, Tandem Ciders specializes in artisanal hard ciders. We use Michigan apples in our ciders and work closely with neighboring growers that produce the fruit. We sell our product where the apples are grown, promoting the farmers and the valuable agricultural land of Leelanau County, as well as the cider itself. Our tasting room is a place that stresses the importance of the region, the significance of community, and a warm and comforting atmosphere that fosters communication and camaraderie. Stop by and visit us! Head north on M-22 through Suttons Bay, and approximately 1.5 miles from the second blinking light, turn left on Setterbo Road. Wind up Setterbo for another mile and look for the white barn with a red tandem bicycle. Open Tuesday - Saturday 12 - 6 and Sunday 12 - 5. Monday by appointment.

10. Silver Leaf Vineyard & Winery

11087 E Silver Leaf Farm Rd

Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Phone: (231)271-3111

Fax: (231)271-3112

Email: info@silverleafvineyard.com


Silver Leaf opened for business in September 2008. An old farm has been transformed into a winery and vineyard. We are producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and also make a cherry wine using juice from local cherries. We are producing a Riesling ice wine, and in the future will plant Pinot Gris, Riesling and other grape varieties to expand our wine selection. We're located on Silver Leaf Lane off Peshawbestown Rd, about a half-mile north of Stallman Road. Silver Leaf Vineyard and Winery is open noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays from now through April. Banquet facilities and a rental cabin overlooking the vineyard will be available in the near future.

11. Leelanau Wine Cellars

12683 East Tatch Road

Omena, MI 49674

Phone: (231)386-5201

Fax: (231)386-9797

Email: tlentych@leelanaucellars.com


Visit our new tasting room in beautiful Omena, sample award-winning Chardonnays, Rieslings, and the seasonal fruit wines. Our friendly staff will enhance your wine tasting experience, browse our gift shop, specialty boutique items are found in our tasting rooms only.

12. Good Neighbor Organic Vineyard & Winery

9825 Engles Road

Northport, MI 49670

Phone: (231)386-5636

Email: organicproducer@AOL.com


The regions first (and only) totally Certified Organic Vineyard, orchards and winery. The farm has been selling certified organic products since 2001. The winery has produced the first Organic Wines in 2007. In 2010 we will have available five crafted hard ciders/fruits; and a limited availability of our wines. We are marketing only 400 bottles of our Gerwurtztraminer which will be offered first to our online customers. 2010 also will see the introduction of our Ice Wines. The Chardonnay/Riesling blend is excellent and very well priced at $60.00 FOR 375 ml. Our fruit dessert wine (again only 400 bottles in the initial offering) is also excellent and marks a new in Organic Wines. They will sell at $25.00/375 ml. Lastly, our Apple Jack style wine is almost ready - It is not a Brandy but does come in at 40 proof, another Organic FIRST this will be sampled this year but aged till 2011-2013 - - It is really GOOD! Please come visit and chat with our staff about Organic Agriculture and taste our products. Call for dates and times open.

13. Gill's Pier Vineyard & Winery, Inc.

5620 N. Manitou Trail

Northport, MI 49670

Phone: (231)256-7003

Fax: (231)256-7033

Email: laurie@gillspier.com






Welcome to Gill's Pier Vineyard & Winery located on the scenic Leelanau Peninsula, just four miles North of Leland on M-22. Enjoy a glass of one of our award winning wines inside our beautiful tasting room or outside on our lovely landscaped patio. We look forward to your visit! Tasting room open daily. Corn maze open Sept 1 thru Oct 31, 2012.

14. Verterra Winery

103 E. River Street

Leland, MI 49654

Phone: (231)256-2115


When our family entered the world of grape growing and wine making, we focused on one thing above all else – staying true to our land. Five years later, we are proud to offer our first vintage of hand-crafted red, white and fruit wines, which we feel embody the essence of what Leelanau Peninsula provides. Please share this remarkable moment with us in our new tasting room located in downtown Leland across from the Bluebird restaurant, where we will be waiting to greet you with a sample of our wine and a welcoming smile. Open Monday – Thursday 11:30 – 6pm, Friday & Saturday 11:30 – 7pm and Sunday – 12 – 5pm.

15. Blustone Vineyards

780 N. Sylt Road

Lake Leelanau, MI 49653

Phone: (231)256-0146

Email: info@blustonevineyards.com


Opening August 2012. Finding a piece of Leland Blustone on the shores of Lake Michigan is finding a rare treasure of nature. Blustone wines are inspired by these unanticipated moments in life. Our award-winning vineyard is tucked away on 40 acres in the heart of the Leelanau Peninsula, just off M204. Visit us at our contemporary, light-filled tasting room that sits amidst the vines with panoramic views of vineyards, orchards and the beautiful Leelanau landscape.

16. Good Harbor Vineyards

34 South Manitou Trail

Lake Leelanau, MI 49653

Phone: (231) 256-7165

Fax: (231) 256-7378

Email: winery@goodharbor.com


A family owned and operated farm since 1980, Good Harbor Vineyards continues to focus on producing high quality affordable wines to share with friends and family. There is a self-guided tour attached to the tasting room which allows our patrons to view the bottling room and wine cellar. We are open from May-October, Monday-Saturday from 11-5 and Sundays 12-5 and November-April on Fridays and Saturdays 12-5 or by appointment. We encourage you to come and taste our collection of old favorites such as Fishtown White and Harbor Red and new exciting additions like Sleeping Bare and Collaboration. Our tasting room is located 3 miles south of Leland on M-22. Both the Simpson family and the tasting room staff look forward to seeing you!

17. Chateau Fontaine

2290 South French Road

Lake Leelanau, MI 49653

Phone: (231)256-0000

Fax: (231)256-9943

Email: dlmatthies@aol.com


Chateau Fontaine is located in the heart of the Leelanau Peninsula just south of Leland and Lake Leelanau. Originally a French-homesteaded potato farm, it is now home to 27 acres of grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Auxorrais, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. Meticulously cared for by our son, Doug, and crew, the vineyards produce consistently award-winning wines. We look forward to serving you at the tasting room. Please check ahead for hours - we are open 12-5 seasonally November through May, Wednesday through Sunday in June, and daily July through October. We appreciate groups of 10 or more to call ahead for visiting. Cheers! Dan and Lucie Matthies

18. Bel Lago Winery

6530 South Lakeshore Drive

Cedar, MI 49621

Phone: (231) 228-4800

Email: info@bellago.com


Beautiful Lake ... Bel Lago wines are made from grapes grown in family-owned vineyards overlooking Lake Leelanau and Lake Michigan. Surrounded by a Pinot Grigio vineyard, Bel Lago Winery features a tasting room with a panoramic view of the beautiful southern end of Lake Leelanau. Open May thru October.

19. Longview Tasting Room

8697 S. Good Harbor Trail

Cedar, MI 49621

Phone: (231)228-2880

Fax: (231)228-2880

Email: info@longviewwinery.com


Longview Winery is about the possibilities in life. The life of our grapes, our wines and ourselves. We are making the best wines possible from the grapes we grow to reflect the moment in time when they were created. We are about discovery, learning, and the development of new knowledge. Ours is an evolving story built on love and respect and change. We hope that you will come and share what we have discovered on this journey. Take a bottle or two home and enjoy our creation. From our family to yours. Adjacent to their tasting room is the Cedar Rustic Inn where chef Ackley serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a dining room decorated with sculptor that Linda Eaker made.

20. Cherry Republic, Inc.

6026 South Lake Street

Glen Arbor, MI 49636

Toll Free: (800) 206-6949

Phone: (231) 334-3150

Fax: (231) 334-6425

Email: info@cherryrepublic.com


Headquartered in the heart of Cherry Country, Cherry Republic is the world's largest exclusive retailer of cherry products! Known as America's cherry cupboard, our Cherry Retail Store & Gift Shop, Cherry Bakery & Old Fashioned Soda Fountain Shop feature over 150 gourmet cherry products not counting the fine quality wine's product by them. Come try one of our Cherry Wines like Merlot, Sparkling Cherry Wines. Group tours are welcome.

Due to our cool-climate, Michigan wines go beautifully with food and have been winning more national and international awards and praise each and every year. For wine lovers, this is a great destination.

It is also the most diverse area - producing a wide variety of quality red, white and sparkling wines as well as fruit wines and brandies. For more information on the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail 20 wineries, click here. For more information about all the wine trails in Michigan, visit the Michigan Wines Web site.


Michigan offers over 100 wineries. 

I did some research on www.michigan.org and discovered a number of wineries located in the Lake Leelanau region.

The Blustone Vineyard was one that caught my eye.

Here's the description:

Opening August 2012. Finding a piece of Leland Blustone on the shores of Lake Michigan is finding a rare treasure of nature. Blustone wines are inspired by these unanticipated moments in life. Our award-winning vineyard is tucked away on 40 acres in the heart of the Leelanau Peninsula, just off M204. Visit us at our contemporary, light-filled tasting room that sits amidst the vines with panoramic views of vineyards, orchards and the beautiful Leelanau landscape.