Winter Winery Checklist

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Picture yourself with a glass in hand as you look out over snow-covered vineyards, icy blue bays, and evergreen forests. The winery is quiet (or at least, quieter than its summer bustle), with the crackle of a fire and the pop of a cork the only sounds to interrupt your reverie. Suddenly, you realize you have all the time in the world to enjoy this cozy slice of paradise.

Most northern Michigan wineries are open in the winter and there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy winter in wine country. We put together a handy checklist to help you make the most of your visit up north.

  • Explore the Vineyards: Check out wineries like 45 North and Rove Estate, which both have snowshoe and cross-country ski trails available in the vineyards. Explore the trails before or after (we recommend before) you visit their tasting rooms.
  • Take a Snowshoe and Wine Tour: Looking for a guided adventure in the great outdoors? Several local companies provide tours along the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas that will give you a great workout alongside tastings at multiple winery stops.
  • Savor Ice Wine: We waxed poetic about this glorious drink—aka the nectar of the gods, but it’s worth repeating here. Find it at wineries like Chateau Chantal, Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery, and Chateau Grand Traverse.
  • Warm Up with Mulled Wine: Nothing beats a perfect mulled wine on a cold day. Brys Estate and Black Star Farms are both known for their delicious recipes.
  • Try a Wine Dinner: If you haven’t paired northern Michigan food and northern Michigan wine together yet, you’re missing out on double yum! Many wineries have spectacular chefs creating mouthwatering menu offerings for their patrons. Look for private wine dinners throughout the winter to enjoy safely with your special someone.
  • Pick Up Wine to Go: You don’t need to go to the tasting room to get your hands on a great bottle of wine. Order online or call ahead and have your wine ready to go when you arrive. Raise a glass to the Traverse Wine Coast wherever you go!

To learn more about the Traverse Wine Coast and how to plan your winter winery visit, go to traversewinecoast.com.

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Our goal is to educate, in a reader-friendly fashion, and take the intimidation out of wine, beer and spirits in order to enhance its enjoyment.

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