It’s Wine Time on the Old Mission peninsula
It’s Wine Time on the Old Mission Peninsula! Northern Michigan is home to numerous wineries and wine regions to visit, one of my favorites areas is Old Mission, which is home to the Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail- this region has 13 wineries to visit. Located on the Old Mission Peninsula, which is the peninsula of land that jets out between Traverse City’s two bays, East Bay & West Bay. All of these wineries are minutes from downtown Traverse City, obviously, the further you drive out on the peninsula, the further they are. Don’t fret, the drive down Center Road is fast and has spectacular views! You will fall in love with the scenery, the wine, and the people.
On a side note, there are multiple roadside farm stands filled with apples, pumpkins, honey, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Selection changes with the season and is always fresh! There are many wine tours and shuttle busses to hire to make the wine tasting experience enjoyable and safe. Here is a link to the Traverse City Tourism list of wine tours/busses. Read below for a few of my favorite wine stops on Old Mission Peninsula:
Mari Vineyards: The very first winery you will hit driving down Center Road on Old Mission is Mari Vineyards and I am a big fan! The winery itself is gorgeous with breathtaking views, great service, and makes a pretty good red wine for Michigan. After a tasting, grab a glass and sit outside!
Bonobo Winery: Restoration Hardware meets breathtaking views at this not to be missed winery. They offer tasting, tours, small plates, outdoor seating, a relaxing atmosphere, and views for days. Take a picture next to their enormous wall mural of a Bonobo for an Instagram worthy pic.
2 Lads Winery: Bold, modern, delicious. A bit of a drive, but worth it! If you can squeeze in a stop here, you will not be sorry.
Bowers Harbor Vineyards: On the top of my must-visit list is Bowers Harbor Vineyards, the entire location is gorgeous and inviting! You can make a reservation to sit outside in the summer or attend one of their many outdoor events and dinners throughout the year.
Brys Estate Vineyards: This winery has a great deck for outdoor tasting and cozy inside space for winter tastings. Upon entering the driveway, turn left for the winery, turn right for Brys “Secret Garden”, with blueberry picking, u-pick flowers, and lavender themed gift shop.
Chateau Chantal: This is a classic Old Mission Peninsula winery, simply driving up to the building will bring excitement! Beyond its beauty, there is so much to love about Chateau Chantal, it has a huge patio, extensive tasting menu, wine dinners, a B & B, and fun events throughout the year.
If possible, try to fit in a few more stops at these wineries on Old Mission Peninsula: Chateau Grand Traverse, Black Star Farms, Hawthorne Vineyards, Peninsula Cellars, Tabone Vineyards. Here is a link to a map of Old Mission Wine Trail and exact locations of where to find each stop. Open year-round, these gorgeous wineries are fun to visit any time of the year. Plan ahead and keep in mind that some locations charge a tasting fee and/or need reservations. Due to Covid many of these wineries have different restrictions and procedures than previous, so check out their websites for the latest info!
For those looking to add a food stop to their wine trail experience, pop into one of my favorite restaurants for a pint of beer at Jolly Pumpkin. For the beer enthusiast, I always order the award-winning ORO de Calabaza, try it out, and tell me what you think! If the Jolly Pumpkin is too busy (Saturday afternoons are crazy sometimes) a few other good spots are Old Mission Tavern, Mission Table, Bad Dog Deli,and Old Mission General Store. Looking for something a little fancier? Make a reservation at The Boathouse, which overlooks West Grand Traverse Bay and serves up oysters, steak, and the most delicious asparagus in town!
If you are looking for unique wine country lodging try these Old Mission Peninsula inns: Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, Chateau Chantal, The Inn at Chateau Grand Traverse,Grey Hare Inn, Neahtawanta Inn, andOld Mission Inn. Other recommended locations to stay in downtown Traverse City are Hotel Indigo, The Park Place Hotel, or find a rental on VRBO (there are a lot of great spots for large groups!)