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Northern Michigan is filled with wineries and stunning views that you don’t want to miss. Here are the Best Michigan Wineries to Visit.
10 Best Northern Michigan Wineries to Visit
Yes, I said Michigan wine. For all my fellow wine drinkers out there, I am guessing you didn’t even know wineries in Michigan existed. Well, Michigan wine does exist, and the state features some of the most gorgeous wineries and views that I think I have ever seen. Now, I may be a bit biased, as I grew up in Michigan and I go up to the Traverse City area every year. But even to the newcomer, you will see that you can’t help but be in awe. And while I like to think that the beauty of Northern Michigan is a secret, there are quite a few celebrities that call it home (or at least their summer home), like Tim Allen and Carter Oosterhouse.
My husband and I were married in Northern Michigan, and both of our children were baptized in the small town of Suttons Bay. I have lived in Florida for over 15 years, but we still drive up every year so that we can experience the beauty of Northern Michigan and spend time with friends and family.
Now, I will openly admit, that I haven’t found a “true” red wine in Michigan. They definitely try though! I just haven’t found that one that can even come close to a complex Napa Cabernet. But, the whites are crisp and easy drinking and again, the views at the wineries are just unreal.
So, if you happen to be traveling in Northern Michigan, I thought I would share with you my picks for the best Michigan wineries to visit. These are the same wineries that we visit every year. They are the Michigan wineries that you will not want to miss. And to me, they are the wineries that are worth the long 28 hour drive it takes to get there.
Here are the 10 Best Michigan Wineries to Visit. Cheers!
You will walk into a gorgeous tasting room, but I recommend heading right out the door to the right and going up to the balcony. Here you can order a glass of wine or one of their famous Frose cocktails and small plates. Take a few pictures of the bay then put your phone away and just enjoy the views. My favorite wines here are the Naked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and the Rose…we actually bought two bottles of each this year.
Brys Estate is located at 3309 Blue Water Road Traverse City, MI 49686. Brys Estate Winery hours are 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and they do vary slightly by season, so be sure to double check before heading out to do some wine tasting. No reservations are required, but they are recommended.
Brys Estate’s phone number is: (231) 223-9303
This is our honeymoon spot! We actually stay here every year for a night to celebrate our anniversary, so it will always be on my list of the best Michigan wineries to visit. The staff is beyond friendly, and the owners really make you feel like you are a part of the family. If you choose to stay the night at the B&B too, just a word of advice…do not be late for breakfast. They aren’t kidding when they say “You snooze, you lose.”
The winery has an incredible deck that has plenty of seating, and their prices for tastings are very reasonable. If you get the chance to be there on a Thursday, I highly recommend staying for a Jazz at Sunset performance. I usually end up buying a couple of their bottles just for the labels, I mean, how can I resist the Naughty Red? Like I mentioned, I don’t really enjoy Michigan Reds, but the bottle is definitely a conversational piece on my wine wall. I do enjoy a glass or two of the bubbly here, Tonight and Celebrate are my usual go-tos.
Chateau Chantal is located at 15900 Rue de Vin Traverse City, MI 49686. Chateau Chantal Tasting Room hours are Sunday – Wednesday: 11am – 5pm and Thursday – Saturday: 11am – 8pm. No reservations are required for tastings, but reservations are required for their Jazz at Sunset Events.
Chateau Chantal’s phone number is: (231) 223-4110
While on Old Mission Peninsula, we always have dinner at the Jolly Pumpkin. Now, if you are reading this, you are a wine lover, but if you happen to have someone in your group that prefers beer, the Jolly Pumpkin has plenty to choose from! If you would like a bottle of wine with dinner, I strongly recommend the Bonafide Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s a tad on the pricey side, but it’s worth it.
Even if you don’t taste the wine here, you have to walk in! It’s like walking up to a beautiful old castle with a view that will make you forget about just about everything else.
Mari Vineyards is founded Marty Lagina, who planted exotic varieties like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and others that normally don’t grow in Michigan. Combined with a little creative grape growing and a lot of attention, they have created a wide variety of red wines unlike anything else produced in Michigan.
Mari Vineyards is located at 8175 Center Rd. Traverse City, MI 49686. Mari Vineyards Tasting Room hours are Monday – Thursday 12pm – 7pm, Friday and Saturday 11am – 7pm, and Sunday 11am – 5pm. Reservations are not required.
Mari Vineyard’s phone number is: 231-938-6116
This is one of the newer wineries up on Old Mission Peninsula, and I will be honest, we drove right past it the first time we saw it because the front facade isn’t much to look at. Don’t make the same mistake we did. When you walk in you are greeted by window after window and a view of the vineyards. The inside is a modern twist of Michigan beauty. They sell small plates here too, so if you need a bite of food to go along with all the wine you have been tasting, this is a good stop. Grab a small plate and a glass of wine and head out to one of the picnic tables on the deck. Our favorite the last few years has been the Rosé.
The tastings here are a bit on the pricier side, so we usually just go with a glass. If you ask the server if you can have a small taste of the wine you are going to buy a glass of, they usually do that without any issues. I usually get the Pinot Blanc here.
If you catch any of the Bonobo Winery Virtual Tastings, you will see Carter Oosterhouse pretty regularly!
Bonobo Winery is located at 12011 Center Road Traverse City, MI 49686. The Bonobo Winery Tasting Room is open Sunday – Thursday 12pm -6pm and Friday and Saturday 12pm -9pm. No reservations are required. They do have live music, so be sure to check out Bonobo Winery Events to stay up to date with all the fun happenings.
Bonobo Winery’s phone number is 231-282-9463
Leelanau Wine Cellars is clear on the other side of peninsula from the wineries I listed above. Leelanau Cellars is located in Omena, and it’s definitely worth the drive, it’s a beautiful drive along the water. I recommend stopping at Leelanau Wine Cellars for a few reasons; it has the most affordable wines, the tastings are free and the view of Grand Traverse Bay is absolutely stunning.
I always stop here to bring home wine for my friends back in Florida, if you buy a case, you even get a discount on top of their incredible prices. You can buy a bottle of wine for around $6-$7, some bottles are more and some bottles are less.
Leelanau Wine Cellars is known for their fruit wines (you will find cherry, blueberry, apple and more!), Witches Brew (which isn’t just for Halloween!), but my recent favorites are the bubblys. This year I came home with several bottles and cans of the Great Lakes Bubbly and Summer Sunset Rosé Bubbly. The cans are absolutely perfect for going to the beach, a day on the boat or anywhere you are going.
I recently had the opportunity to tour the actual winery this year and it’s no wonder that Leelanau Wine Cellars produces over 50% of wine in Michigan. They have 35 full time employees that work together to help produce and sell over 270,000 cases of wine a year!
Leelanau Cellars Tasting Room is located at 5019 N West Bay Shore Dr, Omena, MI 49674. Leelanau Wine Cellars Tasting Room is open Monday – Saturday from 10am – 6pm and Sunday from 12pm – 6pm. No reservations are required.
Leelanau Cellars phone number is: 231-386-5201
Leelanau Cellars is also in the same building as the Knot Just a Bar and Restaurant, so walk over and grab some fish and chips. I also love their gourmet grilled cheese and my son highly recommends the pulled pork sandwich.
45 North and Blustone are great to hit on the same afternoon, they are right by each other, but they each offer a different vibe. 45 North is a barn-like atmosphere with lots of seating and outside games to keep everyone in the family happy. Tastings are priced similar to the other wineries on the Leelanau Peninsula, but we like to come for the atmosphere and small plates, so of course you end up doing a tasting or two. This year our favorites were the Chardonnay and Dry Riesling.
45 North was established in 2006 and is a family-owned winery. They have 3 vineyards and over 40 acres planted to bring us amazing products like red wine, white wine, sparkling wines, ice wine, fruit wines, port-style wines and ciders.
45 North is located at 8580 E Horn Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653. 45 North Winery Tasting Room is open everyday from 11am – 5pm. These hours may vary slightly by season, so be sure to double check if you are visiting in the Fall. No reservations are required.
45 North’s phone number is: 231-271-1188
Head to the top of the hill and will be rewarded with an intimate setting inside and a simple porch with views of the vineyards. I do buy a red wine here, AD LIB, it’s a casual drinking red and it’s priced great at just $16. I also like the Pinot Grigio (so does my mom), and the ciders are good. My brother really likes the kick of the Ginger Apple Cider.
Blustone Vineyards is located at 780 N. Sylt Road, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653. Blustone Vineyard Tasting Room is open Monday – Thursday 12pm – 6pm, Friday – Saturday 12pm – 8pm and Sunday 12pm – 5pm. No reservations are required, but they are recommended.
Bluestone Vineyards’ phone number is: 231-256-0146
If you like bubbly, then you have to make sure Mawby is on your list. Plus, a bottle of Wild, Detroit and Sex are always fun to buy.
Mawby is located at 4519 Elm Valley Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682. Mawby Tasting Room hours are Monday – Saturday 12pm – 6pm and Sunday 12pm – 5pm. No reservations are required.
Mawby’s phone number is: 231-271-3522
No views to boast of from the windows here, but it is right in one of my favorite towns, Leland. Leland is filled with cute shops and one of my favorite restaurants, The Cove. So, head to Verterra, do some tastings and cruise the town for a few hours. And don’t leave before watching the sun set on Lake Michigan. I do really enjoy the Pinot Grigio here, and if it was a good harvest, I usually buy a case.
Verterra Winery is located at 103 E. River Street Leland MI 49654. The Tasting Room hours are Monday – Saturday 12pm – 7pm and Sunday 12pm – 6 pm. They do vary in the colder months, so be sure to double check before you head into town to do some tastings.
Verterra Winery’s phone number is 231-256-2115
The Boathouse is unique as it’s right on the canal, so all you have to do is walk in, get a glass of wine and head right outside to one of the many lawn chairs and watch the boaters cruise by. They also have live music a few nights a week in the summer, so we usually plan to go on those days. Can you think of anything better than drinking wine with friends, with the water in the background and listening to live music? I can’t!
In fact, the kids even like going to this one because they love the music and watching the boats. Since my husband prefers red wine and we are usually here for awhile, we get a bottle of the Cabernet Franc, it’s not a bad price at $32, but do not expect it to taste like a California wine…it’s not. I also like the Pinot Grigio. I feel like you really can’t go wrong with a Pinot Grigio, well, unless it’s really sweet. They have added two Rosés to their wine list in 2020 and I loved the Cab Franc Rosé. It was a bit dry and not at all sweet. I bought a bottle to bring home with me. New in 2021 is the Dry Dock Riesling which was a favorite, we got a few bottles of that and the Cab Franc while we listened to the live music outside with friends and family.
Boathouse Vineyards is located at 115 St Mary’s St, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653. The Tasting Room is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 12pm – 6pm, Wednesdays 12pm – 8pm and Sundays 12pm – 7pm. The nights they are open later is when they have live music.
Boathouse Vineyards phone number is 231-256-7115
This one isn’t a winery, but I am adding it here as a bonus for you all. You’re welcome. You can actually walk from the Boathouse to Northern Latitudes. Northern Latitudes is a distillery and it offers free tastings, but I recommend skipping the crazy crowds around the tasting area and head straight to the bar. They make some of the most amazing cocktails you will ever have, and I am not over exaggerating.
The prices are reasonable and these cocktails pack a punch! My mom’s favorite is the Pina Colada, I like the Hell Yeah, Cherry Cobbler, Ginger Sunset and the Ginger Mule. The Kentucky Waffle is always a favorite of the guys. The Hell Yeah is the one pictured above.
Have you ever been to the wineries in Northern Michigan? If so, which would you say are the best Michigan wineries to visit?
Overall, there are over 140 wineries in Michigan and that number grows each year. Most of the wineries are located in Northern Michigan. If you would like to see a list of all the wineries in Michigan, you can do that here.
Planning your wine tasting adventure in Northern Michigan, you can view the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail Map here.