While wine trails may bring to mind images of the Tuscan sun and other exotic places, Michigan is home to a number of vibrant wine trails. The state is well-suited for grape production so you’ll find plenty of home-made selections on these wine trails. With such an abundance of excellent wineries, you’ll want to hit more than one. That’s where wine trails come in. Check out these awesome trails in the state.
The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail will offer a highly custom experience. Running from the Michigan-Indiana border up to Holland, and a little into Michigan for those who want to break off along I-94, the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail will offer over a dozen different wineries with accordant tasting rooms to try out. Pack a designated driver for this trip, because it could be a long one indeed!
With your choice of a covered wagon or a short motor coach to carry you around, Fruitful Vine operates with several different pickup points out in the same area as the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail does. The key difference here is that this trail will have a lot more guidance to it, and someone else handling the driving duties.
Grape & Grain, which operates out of Bridgman, offers tours of a variety of different wineries and breweries alike, hence the name, Grape & Grain. There are even some distilleries on some of the tours, which means visitors will get easy access to most any breed of booze they prefer. With tasting fees and lunch included for all winery tours, and various packages on hand like the Four Winds Casino Stay & Play package, the end result is a terrific experience.
While the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail runs through what some call Michigan's wine country, the Leelanau Peninsula equivalent is never to be outdone. Featuring 25 separate wine destinations—not to mention the incredible spread of Traverse City nearby—this is a trail that you can take as slow or as brisk as desired, checking out not only the incredible scenery of the Leelanau Peninsula, but also the staggering array of wine producers in the vicinity.
The Thumbs Up Wine Trail features a 270-mile round trip through Michigan's “Thumb Region.” This trail will take you through not only vineyard and winery, but will also give you an opportunity to check out hard cider at a ciderhouse and even try mead. Yes, honey wine is on hand, at a Michigan meadery, one of just a handful of such locations around.
For a long trail through wine country, check out the EPIC Wine Trail. The EPIC—or Essex Pelee Island Coast—starts in Macomb County, but heads into Canada not long after for a trip through a wine growing region that's actually at the same latitude as the Mediterranean. That makes for some highly unique conditions, and climates that are specifically geared toward producing some thoroughly amazing wine.
Explore the “Tip of the Mitt” for some seriously excellent wine tasting opportunities. Bay View Wine Trail takes you along Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay for some stunning views. Wineries to visit include Rudbeckia Farm and Winery in Petoskey, Crooked Vine in Alanson, and Harbor Springs Winery in Harbor Springs.