Thursday, 25 April 2019 13:08

West Michigan Wine Directory: A roundup of regional vineyards and wineries

Written by  Revue Staff
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Fenn Valley Vineyards. Fenn Valley Vineyards. Courtesy Photo

You may not know it, but here in West Michigan, wine is all around us. Whether you’re out in the vast orchards of the southwest or up in the rolling hills of Traverse City, there’s no shortage of grapes to be found. Our whites and bubbly are especially notable, but maybe even better is the simple pleasure of sitting around a table with friends, tasting your way through the winery’s flavors while overlooking the winding vineyards on a beautiful day. We’re here to help you find new vintages and tasting rooms alike — here’s your guide to just some of the great wineries the mitten can proudly claim.

Southwest Michigan

12 Corners Vineyards
1201 N. Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor, (269) 927-1512

Located 4 miles from Michigan’s Gold Coast, this 115-acre estate is planted with both vinifera and hybrid grapes. 12 Corners offers Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Gewurztraminer, among plenty of other varieties. Aside from the outdoor patio overlooking the vineyard, there’s also a tasting room, gift shop, kids’ corner and meeting rooms for large groups. The winery also has tasting rooms in South Haven and Grand Haven.

Baroda Founders Wine Cellar
8963 Hills Rd., Baroda, (269) 426-5222

Established in 2009 by Leonard Olson, Baroda Founders’ selection ranges from classic varietals and fruit-flavor enhanced wines to dessert offerings like ice wine and chocolate-infused reds. The winery also has a tasting room in St. Joseph.

Cody Kresta Vineyard & Winery 
45727 27th St., Mattawan, (269) 668-3800

This small, 20-acre, family-run farm winery is set on an 1882 estate. Enjoy the wine from a secluded tasting room — or relax and take in scenic views from the gorgeous back patio.

Cogdal Vineyards
7143 107th Ave., South Haven, (269) 637-2229

At the family-owned Cogdal Vineyards, the philosophy is “to create outstanding, small-batch wines using Michigan-grown grapes.” That includes the Cogdal brand as well as Little Man Wines, a series of “fun and eclectic wines.”

Contessa Wine Cellars
3235 Friday Rd., Coloma 468-5534

Offering a host of reds, whites and fruit wines, as well as a blush, Contessa features a tasting room reminiscent of an old Italian villa. Enjoy views of the vineyards and Coloma Valley from the terrace.

Domaine Berrien Cellars
398 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs, (269) 473-9463

An all-estate winery, Domaine Berrien Cellars grows, ferments and bottles all of its wines onsite to maximize control and quality. Being situated on one of the highest points in Berrien County with south-facing hillsides gives the vineyards a unique advantage in the Lake Michigan Shore region.

Fenn Valley Vineyards
6130 122nd Ave., Fennville, (800) 432-6265

Based in Fennville, Fenn Valley Vineyards offers a wide range of products including white and sparkling wines, red wines, specialty wines like port and ice wine and fruit-based products. The Fennville Estate is a large, beautiful place to enjoy a flight of wine and a small plate or picnic.

Free Run Cellars
10062 Burgoyne Rd., Berrien Springs, (269) 471-1737

For more than 25 years, Free Run Cellars has specialized in Alsace-style white wines such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer along with dry reds such as Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The company has recently added spirits including cognac-style brandy, calvados-style brandy and grappa.

Gravity Wine
10220 Lauer Rd., Baroda, (269) 471-9463

Gravity offers views of rolling hills, vineyards and a private lake at its 2,000-square-foot tasting room, which features a large deck and patios. Altogether, the winery can seat more than 140 guests. The friendly staff will help you prepare a custom wine flight to fit your palate.

Hickory Creek Winery
750 Browntown Rd., Buchanan, (269) 422-1100

Specializing in old world European wines from locally grown grapes, Hickory Creek pours a range of 19 styles from its charming tasting room inside a red barn. The company also features apple wine made from heirloom apples.

Karma Vista Vineyards
6991 Ryno Rd., Coloma 468-9463

Featuring a host of standbys and limited-run wines, Karma Vista focuses on providing a “great tasting experience in a beautiful setting.” You’ll notice many of the wine names are loosely based on musical references. The reason: “We envision the wine label as our version of album art from the glory days of vinyl.”

Lawton Ridge Winery 
8456 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, (269) 372-9463

Lawton Ridge Winery started as a vineyard in 1973 and then opened its tasting room in 2008. The 4,400-square-foot space includes a production area, tasting room, lab and space for classes and private tastings. All of its wines come from grapes grown either in its vineyard or neighboring vineyards near the Lake Michigan shore. The selection ranges from elegant, dry reds to award-winning dessert wines.

Lemon Creek Winery 
533 E. Lemon Creek Rd., 
Berrien Springs, (269) 471-1321

Lemon Creek’s historic vineyard and winery, located in the heart of Southwest Michigan’s wine country, has 160 years of history and features award-winning wines that are all estate-grown and bottled by the Lemon family. Pro tip: The winery also operates a tasting room in Grand Haven at 327 N. Beacon Blvd.

Round Barn AerialRound Barn Winery. Courtesy Photo

Round Barn Winery
10983 Hills Rd., Baroda,
(800) 716-9463

The Round Barn (formerly known as Heart of the Vineyard) is a trifecta of spirits: A winery, distillery and brewery. Family-owned and operated, Round Barn proudly uses local produce from area orchards, vineyards and farms to produce its 50 different varietals, brandies, vodkas and beers.

St. Julian Winery
716 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw
4425 14 Mile Rd., Rockford
9145 Union Pier Rd., Union Pier, (800) 732-6002

With more than 95 years of experience, St. Julian Winery is a pioneer among Michigan winemakers. The company offers tasting rooms around the state, including at its home base and main winery in Paw Paw. St. Julian is especially known for its exceptional affordable wines, such as Head Games, a spiced wine with flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

Tabor Hill Winery
185 Mount Tabor Road, Buchanan, (269) 422-1161

Tucked away in Southwest Michigan, Tabor Hill offers walking tours of the vineyards and its state-of-the-art winemaking facility. The winery also pairs its beverages with locally-sourced foods at its fine-dining restaurant. If you can’t make the trek to Buchanan, check out the tasting room in Saugatuck.

Vineyard 2121
4110 Red Arrow Hwy., Benton Harbor, (269) 849-0109

Vineyard 2121 started with a passion for quality wine shared by Jeffrey and Deborah Pallas, a husband and wife team. Tucked away in the hardwoods and pines lining the property’s perimeters, the charming raspberry farm boasts three duck ponds and tranquil scenery fit for an outdoor wedding or event. Choose from a list of wines and hard ciders, as well as some select food items.

Warner Vineyards
706 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw, (800) 756-5357

Founded in 1938, Warner Vineyards is an O.G. winemaker on the shore. The company features a range of whites, reds, sparkling, fruit and dessert wines — as well as the ability to personalize labels for a special gift. Warner also offers tasting rooms in South Haven, Holland, New Buffalo and Marshall.

White Pine Winery
317 State St., Saint Joseph,
(269) 281-0098

While White Pine’s tasting room is based in one of the oldest buildings in St. Joseph, all of the grapes are grown in Lawton. The winery specializes in aromatic white varietals like Pinot Grigio and Riesling.

Wolfe Creek Winery
118 Cleveland Rd., Galien, (269) 369-3900

Wolfe Creek recently joined the party, tucked down in Galien (nearly in Indiana). This winery has all kinds of red, white and dessert wines, from  capriccio to cranberry. The boutique, set in a historic brick building, is available for parties, meetings and any other private event.

Wyncroft Wines
1055 64th St., Pullman 409-1855

Wyncroft is known for its high-end wines that have been aged for years. However, in recent years, the winery rolled out a new brand, Marland, which sources its grapes from several local vineyards and are younger, more affordable and don’t require any cellar aging.

West Michigan

Cascade Winery
4665 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 656-4665

Since 2003, Cascade Winery has been a family-owned, award-winning winery. Guests at the tasting bar can sample reds, whites, fruit wine, meads and more (including a selection of beers).  The location also carries unique gift items, home-vintner supplies and customized labeling.

Glass Creek Winery
450 N. Whitmore Rd., Hastings, (269) 948-2752

A small family-run winery operated by Eric and Donna Miller just a few miles from Hastings, Glass Creek offers a variety of wines ranging from dry, oak barrel-aged reds to sweet, fruit-based offerings. The winery also offers a hefty selection of craft beers, from oktoberfests to stouts.

Heavenly Vineyards
15946 Jefferson Rd., Morley,
(616) 710-2751

Heavenly Vineyards is a family-owned boutique winery that produces and bottles all of its wines onsite. The company offers the traditional styles, as well as off-the-wall varieties such as Jalapeno Wine and Rhubarb Wine.

Hudsonville Winery 
3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville
(616) 662-4589

Hudsonville Winery — owned by Steve Guikema and Ron Snider, who also co-own Pike 51 Brewing Co. — carries more than 30 different wines. The list includes Pinot Grigio, Bruno and White Zinfandel. On top of that is a large selection of fruit wines, such as Peach, Acai, Raspberry, Hudsonberry, Pomegranate and Black Cherry. All the wines are made onsite.

Kayla Rae Cellars
31 Courtland St., Rockford, (616) 951-7001

Tucked away in the quaint downtown area of Rockford, Kayla Rae offers a handful of wines and ciders along with nibbles. Bonus: The cellar also offers growler fills for cider and sangria.

Apple Haus & Winery
3142 4 Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids 361-7180

Robinette’s began pumping out the wine in January of 2006. The winery is open Tuesday through Saturday year-round and offers tastings that come with a complimentary glass. Along with wine, Robinette’s also offers hard cider options, not to mention fresh baked goods and tasty apple cider up in the Apple Haus.

Northwest Michigan

Amoritas Vineyards
6701 E. Duck Lake Rd., Lake Leelanau, (231) 994-2300

Amoritas opened its tasting room not long ago, at the end of 2017, but the grapes themselves go back to 2013, so you know this was no rush job. It’s an excellent addition to the Leelanau wine trail, thanks to top-notch white varietals and a hardworking family who runs the place. You’ll nearly always find at least one of them at the tasting room, ready to talk passionately about what you’re drinking and how it’s made.

Black Star Farms
10844 E. Revold Rd., Suttons Bay 944-1270

Black Star Farms has not one, but two tasting rooms: one in Suttons Bay and one on Old Mission Peninsula. Within, you’ll find all the varieties you could dream of, from white to red, sparkling and fruit wines. Black Star also has a small distillation program, occasionally releasing extremely limited brandies.

Boathouse Vineyards
115 St. Mary’s St., Lake Leelanau, (231) 256-7115

Located high on the rolling hills of Leelanau County, Boathouse Vineyards offers handcrafted wines grown and hand-harvested at the family-owned vineyard. Since Boathouse is located in a place ideal for growing grapes, it’s no wonder the wines have won numerous awards, most notably the Rieslings which have won three Best-in-Class awards, as well as three Double Golds.

Bowers Harbor Vineyards
2896 Bowers Harbor Rd., Traverse City, (231) 223-7615

A boutique winery located in Northern Michigan on picturesque Old Mission Peninsula, Bowers Harbor offers a range of award-winning wines — as well as unique greetings from the winery dogs. Focused on cool-climate viticulture, Bowers Harbor produces wines like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, plus a signature meritage blend known as 2896, Langley Vineyard.

buildingChateau Chantal. Courtesy Photo

Chateau Chantal 
15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City, (231) 223-4110

Chateau Chantal offers a French style three-room B&B, winery and vineyard located on a vast 65-acre estate on Old Mission Peninsula, one of the most scenic areas of the Great Lakes. While you’re sipping on any of the dozens of wine varietals, enjoy views of Grand Traverse Bay, Power Island and rolling vineyards that abound from each window.

Chateau Grand Traverse
12239 Center Rd., Traverse City, (800) 283-0247

For more than 40 years, the family-owned Chateau Grand Traverse has focused on 12 European grape varietals, specializing in Rieslings. The company operates 122 acres of estate-owned vineyards in Northern Michigan, plus another 80 acres contracted with area growers.

Glen Arbor
5873 South Lake St., Glen Arbor, (231) 835-2196

Glen Arbor is one of the newer vineyards on the scene, opening in 2017 near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The grapes come from Leelanau County, including some that come from the only vineyard in Sleeping Bear, giving it that extra unique terroir. The relaxing tasting room is within view of Lake Michigan, with the freshwater breeze blowing over the patio and yard. Try the Farmstead Red or the Pinot Grigio, a.k.a. “To the Dune Beach.”

Jomagrha Vineyards and Winery
7365 South Pere Marquette Hwy., Pentwater, (231) 869-4236

Located just miles from Lake Michigan between Pentwater and Ludington, Jomagrha Vineyards and Winery was founded in 1999 by Harry Sanford and specializes in old-world French grapes, alongside new American and French hybrids. The handcrafted wines include Marechal Foch, de Chaunac and a new light port, among others. 

Leelanau Cellars 
5019 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Omena, (231) 386-5201

After decades of producing award-winning wines in Michigan’s Wine Coast, Leelanau Cellars’ philosophy has remained the same: “Produce quality, consumer-friendly wines, affordable to everyone.” In the fall, Witches Brew is a spiced wine available all over that perfectly sets the mood for autumn antics. If you’re visiting, relax during the day at the winery’s tasting room, which is open year-round.

Left Foot Charley Winery 
806 Red Dr., Traverse City, (231) 995-0500

Left Foot Charley, launched in 2004 by Bryan Ulbrich, teamed up with 18 Northern Michigan growers to produce an assortment of white wine varietals, hard cider and sparkling wine. The winery says it produces “wines that display the range of aroma and flavor found among the glacially tilled hills of our appellations.”

Mari Vineyards
8175 Center Rd., Traverse City, (231) 938-6116

It’s always a treat when Old Mission Peninsula gets another amazing winery, and Mari Vineyards’ stone chateau tasting room fully arrived in 2016 with a beautiful stone view overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay. Mari’s beloved flagship wine, Row 7, is a bold red born out of a happy accident going all the way back to 1999. It’s also one of the first wineries in Michigan to have an extensive underground barrel aging area, with consistent temperatures and humidity. That’s how you do it right.

4519 Elm Valley Rd., Suttons Bay, (231) 271-3522

Meet the king of Michigan bubbly. If you’re here for the fizz, Mawby is here for you, offering sparkling wine of all varieties. Visiting here is a rare opportunity to try a dozen bubblies side-by-side and refine your palate. Plus, there’s nothing more refreshing in the hot summer than a little naturally created carbonation.

Rove Estate Vineyard & Winery
7007 E. Traverse Hwy., Traverse City, (231) 421-7001

Perched on the highest point in Leelanau County, Rove Estate gives the perfect view of the rolling hills and dunes of up north. Estate-grown grapes take the spotlight here, thanks to beautiful southern-facing slopes with plenty of sunlight. For you the drinker, that means bold, award-winning wines made from grapes that you won’t find anywhere else. When you’re at Rove, you’re surrounded by beauty and great taste.

Oceana Winery & Vineyard
4980 S. 52nd Ave., New Era 343-0038

Featuring dry and sweet wines and everything in-between, Oceana Winery has something for everyone’s palate. The company now offers a tasting room in downtown Muskegon.

Shady Lane Cellars
9580 E Shady Lane, Suttons Bay 947-8865

Shady Lane Cellars hasn’t always had such an elegant tasting room. In fact, before the renovation in 1999, the room — now trimmed in copper, Italian tile and granite — was a 100-year-old chicken coop. Today, this vineyard creates an experience immersive in both wine and culture.

Willow Vineyards 
10702 E. Hilltop Rd., Suttons Bay 271-4810

Willow Vineyards, established in 1992, is located on a striking, wind-swept hillside in Suttons Bay. Panoramic views of Grand Traverse Bay add to the majesty of the location. You can sample from award-winning vintages in the tasting room or purchase by the bottle, half-bottle or magnum.

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