Warm Up With Winter Wine Tasting In Michigan

Whether you’re exploring Old Mission peninsula or hanging out in southwest Michigan, wine tasting is a great way to spend a cold winter afternoon in Michigan. The tasting rooms are less crowded, there are many labels to choose from and you often get extra attention from the tasting room manager, allowing you to ask questions and learn more about the wine, winery, best pairings and the region. Read more as Trisha Verma, co-founder of Drink Michigan, shares some tips on how to make your tasting trip memorable and some regions to visit across the state.

One of the best parts of tasting in the winter is all the variety that’s in stock. This is the time to be adventurous and expand your palate. Talk to the tasting room manager and let them guide you in experimenting with new varietals. Read below for a few of our favorites from three corners of the state. 


Wine Pairings at Chateau Chantal
Wine Pairings at Chateau Chantal | Photo Courtesy of Chateau Chantal

Undoubtedly Michigan's best-known wine region, in part because it rests on the same 45th parallel as the Bordeaux wine region in France, is the Leelanau Peninsula. Here, you can explore decadent nodes of various wines created specifically for the winter season. Plan a trip to Michigan's northwest to discover these wineries and the surrounding cities and towns. 
For a relaxing stay, head to Chateau Chantal, for tastings, a cozy bed and breakfast and close proximity to the rest of the peninsula's wineries. Experiment with pours to the backdrop of the live Celtic tunes frequently booked at Rove Estate Vineyard & Tasting Room, perched on one of the highest points in the Traverse City area or join in the fun at karaoke night at Resort Pike Winery and Cidery in Petoskey or the occasional Saturday night Cellar Dance at Fenn Valley Vineyards and Wine Cellar in Fennville.


The coast of Lake Michigan offers more than pristine sandy beaches - it's also a great place to find a perfect bottle of winter wine. Here you can explore the state's sunset coast and iconic towns like Holland or South Haven. After an enjoyable day of tasting, drive less than an hour to Grand Rapids for a night of fun on the town.
In Benton Harbor, 12 Corners Vineyards & Winery in offers 30 acres of vineyards and produces cider from its apple trees each fall. Tempo Vino Winery in Kalamazoo has hand-crafted wines with grapes grown in France, Italy, Germany, Australia and California. They select the best crops from top vineyards each harvest, and import the juice to their winery. Dablon Vineyards in Baroda is a small winery with big flavor! The tasting room can be reserved for large groups, and overlooks the rolling vineyards.



Village Winery Tasting Room
Village Winery Rasting Room | Photo Courtesy of Village Winery


Michigan's southeast is newer to the wine scene, but still a perfect region to find your favorite blend of winter wine. While in the area, be sure to explore the great metropolis of Detroit, America's Comeback City. The Motor City provides guests a chance to explore the bustling downtown and attractions like the Detroit Institute of Arts, with famed paintings and exhibitions, and the classic Motown Historical Museum with lessons in the famous Motown sounds.
Taste your way through the Michigan by the Bottle Tasting Room that brings six wineries from around the state to the east side in Shelby Township. Filipo Marc Winery in Clinton Township boasts 70 varieties of wine, with a “make your own” area where you can create specialized wine for yourself or a friend. The Thumbs Up Wine Trail in Rochester is 270 miles round trip, with stops at 12 wineries and has numerous stops and lodging along the way while Village Winery in produces wines on-site in Romeo. Head to Ann Arbor for VinBar for wine flights, craft cocktails, fruit brandies and cheese plates. 

 Be adventurous this season and taste your way across the state and stock up on your favorite wines while you’re out exploring.

About the Author: Trisha Verma is a passionate Michigander and the co-founder of Drink Michigan – a site dedicated to promoting and celebrating Michigan-made beer, wine and spirits.