Outdoor Michigan Wine Adventures
Sublime summer days and evenings call for adventure in the vineyards.
Sublime summer days and evenings call for adventure in the vineyards. Round Barn Winery — legendary for its longtime focus on a trifecta of libations: wines, brews and spirits — hosts Art and Music in the Vineyard on Aug. 3 and 4. Located in southwest Michigan in Baroda, Round Barn is a fun destination for those new to wine and for longtime oenophiles, as well as their beer and cocktail-drinking friends. This event features more than 35 juried artists and live music. Art enthusiasts can shop pottery, glass, metalwork and paintings by Michigan artists.
Nearby, Domaine Berrien Cellars’ bucolic scenery in Berrien Springs beckons picnickers to linger over a bottle of wine. Unwind under the covered outdoor patio and umbrella-topped picnic tables in the vineyard and enjoy Syrah and Pinot Noir, and Rhone region-inspired Marsanne, which pairs perfectly with BBQ favorites from burgers to fish.
On Old Mission Peninsula, Bowers Harbor Vineyards hosts a handful of dinner and wine events in August and September. The winery’s Dining in the Vines is an amazing evening treat offering breathtaking views of Bowers Harbor, surrounding vineyards and five courses of fresh, gourmet fare prepared by Chef DJ Dorsten of Boathouse Restaurant.
Also on the peninsula, Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery’s outdoor patios offers intimate seating perfect for tasting some of Michigan’s best red wines, as well as the winery’s Pinot Blanc and Dry Riesling. The gleaming white farmhouse and private guesthouse, available for overnight stays, vineyards, bay and refined tasting room are all part of the vibrant panoramic.
Hilltop neighbor Chateau Chantal features jaw-dropping 360-degree paradise views, award-winning wines and light appetizers on a roomy patio. Enrich your good time with a Tapas Tour or seven-course wine dinner inside Chateau Chantal’s lovely hospitality room.
Across the bay on Leelanau Peninsula, Boathouse Vineyards offers an idyllic setting on the Narrows, a peaceful waterway connecting North Lake Leelanau and South Lake Leelanau. Sit on the dock — just a quick walk from the tasting room — and sip dry Pinot Noir Rose and Boathouse Red, a Cab Franc-Merlot-Syrah blend, Pinot Grigio, or Dry Riesling. Adirondacks offer comfy seating for enjoying the parade of kayaks, pontoons and motorboats puttering by in the no wake zone. Find shade under the tasting room’s covered porch with unhindered views of the waterway.
Gill’s Pier Vineyard and Winery on Leelanau Peninsula’s northwest side is a quiet respite from bustling Traverse City. Decant and linger over Gill’s Pier impressive Cabernet Franc Merlot blend on the covered patio, adjacent to the pond and hillside vineyard. The red wine is a testament to the vintners’ commitment a dozen years ago to craft a big, bold red in Michigan. Semi-Dry Riesling and Whitewater, a blend of Vignole and Riesling, are refreshing options for steamy summer days.
In Brooklyn in southeast Michigan, Cherry Creek Cellars Old Schoolhouse tasting room is a welcoming beacon on Old US-12. Bring a picnic, and buy a bottle of wine and homemade fudge to indulge in under the pretty pergola. Also stop in for live music under the pergola on weekends through August and on September 14 for the annual Harvest Party.
Sandhill Crane Vineyards, just an hour west of metro Detroit, is tucked amid farmland just minutes off I-94. The tasting room offers plenty of outdoor seating on the front and side porches. The winery café features a selection of appetizers and sandwiches, which complement the selection of wines that range from sweet to dry. Thirsty Thursdays features live music and other activities, like Knit and Sip. The annual Raspberry Festival is Sept. 14, which showcases the winery’s popular Raspberry dessert wine. This year, the event coincides with the winery’s 10th birthday.
Just an hour north of metro Detroit is Old Town Hall Winery. It’s a destination winery in an impressive three-story historic setting in downtown Lexington. Sip wines and brews, crafted onsite at new Lexington Brewery, and listen to live music. On August 17, attend the Blessing of the Vines at sister winery Blue Water Winery and Vineyards in Carsonville. Enjoy wine by the glass and music before and after the ancient prayer ritual.
Taste Award-Winning Michigan Wines on August 8
Don’t miss the exciting Michigan Gold Medal Wine Reception, hosted by the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, on Thursday, Aug. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. This lively gathering of vintners in East Lansing is a fun opportunity to taste award-winning wines and meet the craftspeople behind the wines. Buy tickets by Aug. 6 by calling (517) 335-0950.