As warmer weather makes its way along the west coast of Michigan, wineries are gearing up for a bustling wine-touring season. One region, in particular, is preparing for its first year as an organized trail.
The West Michigan Wine and Beer Trail, the state’s newest, is located along the shores of Lake Michigan from Ludington to Holland and extends east to Grand Rapids. The trail hosts 10 wineries, 13 breweries, and three hard cider mills — each offering its own unique experience.
Some are longtime wineries like Warner Vineyards, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and Fenn Valley Vineyards, approaching 40 years in business. Other well-established wineries include Cascade Winery, Jomagrha Vineyards and Winery, Lemon Creek Winery, and Oceana Winery & Vineyard. The newest wineries along the trail are Clay Avenue Cellars, The Fox Barn Market & Winery, Hudsonville Winery, and Rogue River Winery. Overall, the region is producing a great variety of red, white, and fruit wines ranging from very dry to very sweet.
The region’s microbreweries pair handcrafted brews with wood-fired pizzas and live musical entertainment. The range of brews include American-style ales, styles influenced from renowned beer regions around the world, and brews inspired by local Michigan ingredients.
Also along the trail are three cider mills offering kid-friendly ciders, hard ciders, wines, and beers along with myriad agricultural products. Fun agricultural activities make these destinations fun for the whole family.
A helpful brochure with descriptions of each destination is available for easy planning. The brochure, which can downloaded on the trail’s website trail’s website includes a handy map, helpful hints on tasting, restaurant recommendations, lodging, local attractions and a blank page for tasting notes.
Between destinations, travelers make their way past rolling sand dunes, alongside breathtaking beaches, and through scenic countryside farmland. From charming resort towns to the urban grandeurs of Grand Rapids, there is plenty to do along the way. Learn more at the trail’s website or on the trail’s Facebook page.