It FINALLY feels like Fall and I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be more excited! Fall is about bringing people together, enjoying the outdoors, discovering new places and indulging in the local wine, cider and beer scene.
With great color and Great Lakes views, it’s no question as to why hundreds of fall color chasers make their way to Traverse City for the annual color tour every year. Northern Michigan displays a spectacular colorful scenery, and there’s no better place to experience it than on a Traverse City patio with a view.
From Old Mission Peninsula to Leelanau County, you’ll find the best patios to relax with a glass and enjoy the Fall color.
There’s no shortage of 4th of July festivities when it comes to celebrating in Traverse City! With the summer’s biggest holiday around the corner, it’s time to enjoy all the activities that salute the nation and honor its history. From spectacular fireworks over West Bay, to lakefront concerts, beach parties and more, there’s no better place to celebrate the country’s independence in Michigan than Traverse City.
Grab your friends, family, and sparklers, and turn up your USA-themed playlist, then head to one of these Northern Michigan 4th of July celebrations!
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A
Enjoy the Traverse City Boom Boom Club’s spectacular 4th of July firework display shot over West Bay beginning at dark! You’ll find great viewing from anywhere along the West Bay shoreline in Traverse City. Click here for more information.
The best part about Northern Michigan is its beaches. No salt, no sharks, and nothing but fresh water! If you’re looking for the biggest 4th of July gathering, head down to West End Beach or Clinch Park along the shores of Traverse City’s Open Space. Locals and visitors alike will claim their space on the beach, with boaters anchored nearby, creating a fun boat-to-shore social scene.
Each summer since 1968, Traverse City has celebrated one of its most famous and delicious goods: the cherry. The 2017 National Cherry Festival takes place July 1 through July 8, and it’s full of all sorts of fun – concerts along the bay, good eats, local wine and beer, athletic events, a spectacular air show and of course lots and lots of cherries. I highly suggest hitting up a concert, walking the midway, and topping of your evening at the beer tent.
Happy Birthday America! Let’s raise a glass and toast to our history and accomplishments, and if you’re a wine drinker like myself, you’re going to be sipping on that TC local good stuff. Situated on the 45th parallel – just like France’s Bordeaux region, and Italy’s Piedmont region – Traverse City has quickly become a notable wine destination, boasting a variety of cool-climate wines that pair entirely well with the booming cuisine scene. Combine all of that with the beauty of Old Mission Peninsula, Leelanau County, Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes, the region’s wine scene will have you craving for more!
Let’s be honest, are we even in Michigan? Named the “Most Beautiful Place in America” on ABC’s Good Morning America, the Sleeping Bear Dunes encompass 65 miles of sandy beaches along Lake Michigan’s Eastern Coastline, with bluffs that tower over 450 feet, luscious forests, clear blue inland lakes, and breathtaking views. Escape the town and crowds, and enjoy the scenic ride and experience out to the area’s most beautiful spot.
Here in Northern Michigan, we get to take our beer outside and enjoy it in cool places such as my favorite, Hop Lot Brewing in Suttons Bay. There’s something enticing about getting to enjoy Northern Michigan’s charm with a good beer in hand, surrounded by your friends and family. Hop Lot’s Beer Garden has established itself as the ultimate Northern Michigan destination to embrace the local beer culture, while taking in the breathtaking outdoors.
With a venue like this, how can you pass up a Cherry Festival Concert. The 90’s Dance Party 2.0 featuring Vanilla Ice, All-4-One, and C & C Music Factory will be taking the stage along the Bay this 4th of July. Last year I was able to attend this one-of-a-kind dance party, and I can promise you that it’s a great time. Get your tickets here!
A Traverse City 4th of July isn’t complete without a big slice of cherry pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Co. With two Traverse City locations, they make it easy for you to indulge on their cherry deliciousness.
With a prime location, incredible views, and good drinks, The Hotel Indigo is a must-visit! The rooftop view lines up perfectly with the main stage of the Traverse City Cherry Festival, and the Lake in the background doesn’t hurt either. It’s the perfect destination to kick back and enjoy a nice sunset over the bay, while listening to the sights and sounds of the Cherry Festival.
Now that I’ve provided you with a fun-filled 4th of July, it’s your turn to get out and enjoy what Northern Michigan has to offer! Cheers and Happy Birthday America!
As if I needed another excuse to drink more rosé than I already do, National Rosé Day is this Saturday, June 10th, and it officially marks the start of Rosé season. However, if you’re like me, it’s more of a rosé all day lifestyle. The blush wine is just as consumable, as it is Instagrammable.
Nonetheless, rosé is more than a pretty pour. While we have The Fat Jew to thank for rosé’s reputation of being the number one “basic” beverage, the wine deserves a lot more credit. Sayle Milne, founder of wine-class company Wine Savvy, listed off a number of reasons on why we should be drinking more of the pink stuff last month in Refinery 29. In Sayle’s words, “You should be drinking rosé when you wake up. You should have it at lunch, you should have it at dinner. You should have it with a straw,” and I couldn’t agree more!
Plus, when Vogue calls it the summer’s most popular drink, we listen to them.
Northern Michigan has recently caught on to the pink trend and the summertime staple that is rosé. With patio season in full swing, the sun finally out, and the boats on The Bay, all we want is a nice pour of crisp and refreshing rosé.
With so many rosés on the market, I took it upon myself to find a few of my local favorites and to share it with you. Whether you’re celebrating solo, or sipping the good stuff with a group of friends — I’ve got you covered, because after enough swirling, sipping, and reflecting, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite Northern Michigan Rosé’s. Your welcome!
Just in time for summer…. scroll through for the roundup. Warning: you won’t find any sweet wines on this list!
2016 Rosé: Made primarily out of Pinot Gris grapes, this Rosé shows delicate aromas of peach, apricots, honey, Nashi pears, and red apples. |$24|
2016 Sparkling Rosé: Embodies the qualities of a Pinot Noir, but in true sparkling nature, it’s light, crisp and reflects the spirit of summertime in Northern Michigan. Elegant flavors of white peach and stone fruits lead to a silky texture and a refreshing finish. |$26|
2014 Cab Franc/Merlot Rosé: A blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this dry Rosé has beautiful strawberry, raspberry and peach fruit with a fine balance of richness and bright acidity. |$17|
2015 Rosé: Red berries on the nose followed by a crisp finish with Meyer lemon, and bright, ripe Michigan tart cherry. |$19|
2015 Vortex Rosé: Balanced acidity, with notes of candied berries, lime blossom, and watermelon. |$16|
Grace – Pinot Noir Sparkling Brut Rosé: Delicate pink, pinot noir aromas and flavors… moderately full-bodied… elegant wine. |$23|
Rosé time is the best time
May is the perfect time to experience Northern Michigan’s wine scene, and this year Michigan is celebrating in a big way. Local wineries have partnered with Traverse City Tourism and Traverse City Uncorked to provide a month full of special tastings, events, live music, food and wine pairings, and more!
Michigan Wine Month is a great way to focus attention on the diverse and high quality wines Michigan is becoming globally recognized for. A lot of people, personalities and passion go into making the exceptional wine our region continues to produce, and Michigan Wine Month is a great time to celebrate all that Michigan’s vintners and growers bring to our lifestyle, economy and culinary pleasures.
Traverse City has quickly become a notable wine destination, boasting a variety of cool-climate wines that pair entirely well with the booming cuisine scene. Combine all of that with the beauty of Old Mission Peninsula, Leelanau County, Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, the Traverse City region will have you craving for more!
Whether your enjoying this month long party in a local tasting room, restaurant, or hotel, you’ll find a celebratory activity suitable for everyone to enjoy. See for yourself why Northern Michigan wines are a hot topic of discussion across the country.
Get uncorked with Olives and Wine every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday throughout the month! This Mediterranean-inspired, self-serve food and wine destination is featuring locally inspired happy hours with delicious selections right from Traverse City’s award-winning wine coast from 4-6pm! Get the lineup here.
May 3: Wine Down Wednesday Bingo at Chateau Grand Traverse
May 5: Oh Brother Big Sister Live at Bonobo Winery with a special Cinco de Mayo Chorizo and wine pairing
May 6th and 7th: Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail’s Spring Sip & Savor
May 7: Free Vineyard Tours at Bowers Harbor starting at Noon
May 7: Flowers with Mom at Bowers Harbor Vineyards
May 10: Black Star Farms Harvest Dinner
May 12: Rove Estate’s First Anniversary Celebration with Paul Livingston
May 12: Live Music from E-Minor at Bonobo Winery
May 13: Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula Spring Blossom Day
May 14: Bonobo Winery Mother’s Day Celebration – Free glass of wine for Mom!
May 19: Paul Livingston Live at Bonobo Winery
May 20: Sips ’N Giggles Comedy Show at Leelanau Studios off M22.
May 25: How to Taste Wine Like a Pro with Michael Schafer, the Wine Counselor at Leelanau Studios off M22 from 7:00pm to 8:30. Admission is $29 a person
May 26: Rove Estate Local Appreciation Happy Hour from 4-6pm
May 26: Lavender Chill Yoga/Live Music/Wine Tasting at Yen Yoga downtown Traverse City.
May 26: National Chardonnay Day VIP Tasting & Tour with the Winemaker at Bonobo Winery. Admission is $35, and will take place at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm.
May 26: Mitch McKolay live at Bonobo Winery from 6-8pm.
Grab your friends and family, and celebrate Michigan Wine Month the Traverse City way! For more events and information, head over to Traverse City Tourism’s website, or Traverse City Uncorked’s Facebook page!
While Traverse City and Leelanau County are predominantly known for their wine and beer scene, hard cider isn’t to far behind as a Michigan favorite. With the country’s third largest apple crop, Northern Michigan has emerged as an industry leader, and with warmer weather on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to tour the leading cider destinations in the area. Whether you’re a local or traveler, no trip to the area would be complete without a visit to these Northern Michigan cider establishments.
Here’s a list of my favorite places around Traverse City to grab a glass of hard cider:
With a prime location in the center of Downtown Traverse City, Taproot Cider House has become a Front Street favorite. With 17 ciders on tap, there’s a cider for everyone in the group to enjoy. What I enjoy most about this cider house is that it’s a true Northern Michigan establishment with a welcoming atmosphere! Taproot captures the essence of Northern Michigan, with accents of reclaimed wood from a big storm that hit Traverse City in August of 2015. Other features such as a physical taproot that was donated from a local orchard acts as the famous centerpiece behind the bar.
Taproot Cider House is known for supporting local farmers, distilleries, wineries, and craft breweries. Their earth to table concept features a food menu with a nice variety of local and organic produce. Let Taproot be your next downtown destination!
Yes, I tasted all 17 ciders on tap, and here’s a list of my favorites!
The regions first urban winery located in the center of the historic Northern Michigan Asylum, now known as The Village Traverse Commons, offers a unique space that allows them to create wine and cider from vineyards and orchards around Traverse City. Left Foot Charley has a variety of wine and cider on hand, and is only a short drive from downtown Traverse City! Open until 9pm, think of Left Foot Charley during your next outing! Their patio is unbeatable in the summer months.
With unparalleled views of Grand Traverse West Bay and a bar that looks out to Power Island, Suttons Bay Ciders is the optimal setting for a Northern Michigan Hard Cidery. Family owned and operated, Suttons Bay Ciders is located just a half mile off of M22, and offers the perfect cozy and laid-back atmosphere. My recommendation is to enjoy a nice sampler of all their ciders up at the bar, while taking in the pure Michigan sights.
Make yourself at home, because Tandem Ciders is the ultimate local cider hangout. Found along a scenic country road in Leelanau County’s wine country, Tandem Ciders offers a variety of ciders that you can enjoy in the tasting room, or take to go. I recommend getting a flight, and taking home a growler of your choice to enjoy! Their highly popular “Smackintosh” cider is a crowd favorite.
Located right on the 45th parallel, this Northern Michigan winery has become a Leelanau Peninsula destination thanks to its variety of wine, casual atmosphere, outgoing staff, and of course their unique ciders. 45 North has been able to capitalize off of its distinct location as the driving force behind its approach to crafting world-class wines and ciders that represent the West Michigan wine and cider scene. Tucked between the woods, 45 North has a great Northern Michigan vibe. Stop in for a cider tasting, and pair it with their award-winning wine. You can even enjoy your taste from their horse saddle bar stools.
In addition to their wines, Veterra Winery’s sister project, Chaos Ciders makes a variety of hard ciders that are becoming a staple known to the Northern Michigan cider scene. Nestled in the town of Leland, their unique tasting room — which once was a barber shop/pool hall in 1927 — is one-of-a-kind. Whether your tasting, grabbing a glass, or taking home a growler, Verterra is a great one stop shop for both cider and wine lovers. When you do visit, be sure to ask for Lindy because she was absolutely wonderful! Lindy gave such an educational, yet enjoyable tasting experience and was full of knowledge!
For the cider drinkers with a sweeter palate, Chateau De Leelanau is the place for you. As you’re entering Leelanau County’s wine country, Chateau De Leelanau is an easy stop to hit with direct access off of M22. Try one or all five of their ciders, and take a glass to enjoy outside on their patio. Their large tasting room is fully equipped to handle you and all your friends tasting needs!
Situated halfway out on Old Mission Peninsula, with views overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay, Bowers Harbor offers a cozy and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy wine and cider, while learning about the different varietals, and growing practices. Whether you’re enjoying a glass on the patio, or tasting at the bar, the staff provides a fun, yet knowledgable experience. Their Apple cider was my favorite, however, Bowers Harbor’s cider list has a nice variety of seasonal tastes and flavors. Sipping on their Peach and Blueberry ciders were a nice taste of summer in the middle of winter.
Now it’s your turn to get out and try these local cider favorites!
While I’ve never needed an excuse to indulge in a glass of wine, National Drink Wine Day is the unofficial holiday dedicated for celebrating all things wine. Whether your a wine connoisseur or a novice, February 18th is for honoring the love and health benefits of wine.
In tribute of the holiday, I’ve compiled a list of “Reasons to Drink More Wine.” That’s right people – your affection for wine in moderation is in fact good for you!
Wine is fun!
It’s good for the mind, body, & soul.
Wine enhances the flavors of your food.
You get to use really cool glasses.
It’s technically fruit.
Reduces your risk of dementia.
It doesn’t make you bloated like other forms of alcohol.
It pairs really well with cheese.
Reduces your risk of heart disease.
It makes Bachelor Monday’s that much better.
Fermentation is fascinating. There’s so much to learn from it!
Goes well with Sunday brunch.
Prevents type 2 diabetes.
A great gift to get yourself, or anyone else for that matter.
You can make some cool crafts out of wine corks.
It gets your creative juices flowing.
It ages well.
Reduces the risk of depression.
Wine therapy is cheaper than retail therapy.
Wine tasting is a fun extra curricular activity.
Wine will never disappoint you.
It helps you sleep.
Wine bottles come with awesome labels.
Offering 10% off glass pours all day!
Despite the cold weather, and the endless amounts of snow we received over the week, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy what the Northern Michigan wine scene has to offer. If you’re on the hunt for weekend festivities, there are some awesome events happening in the wine and beer industry around the Traverse City area.
What’s Up Michigan is a great source for the best events and deals happening around Michigan daily. Here are a few of their current wine and beer deals to take advantage of.
Bonobo Winery – Cheese & Charcuterie Board with 2 Featured Tastings for $15. Expires 3/31/17
Aurora Cellars – 50% off a 2nd glass of wine. Expires 5/31/17
45 North Vineyard & Winery – $2 off a glass of wine. Expires 3/31/17
Shady Lane Cellars – $3 Wine Tasting. 3/31/17
Rove Estate Vineyard & Winery – Buy on get one free wine tasting, and 10% off retail purchases. Expires 3/31/17
Left Foot Charley – 25% off munchie menu item with purchase of wine or cider pour. Expires 3/31/17
Brew Bus – $75 off private tour. Expires 5/31/17
Bowers Harbor Vineyards – Buy 1 wine or hard cider tasting, get 1 free, plus 10% off wine & cider purchases. Expires 11/30/17
Grand Traverse Tours – 2 Wine Tour Guests for $99. Expires 3/31/17
Rare Bird Brewpub – 50% off Tacos. Expires 3/31/17
Hearth & Vine Cafe at Black Star Farms – Monday thru Thursday buy 1 wood-fired pizza, get the 2nd 1/2 off. Expires 3/31/17
The Workshop Brewing Co. – 4oz Tenpenny American-Style Ale for 10 pennies. Expires 3/31/17
Grand Traverse Distillery – $ 2 off any regular priced drink. Expires 3/31/2017
Taproot Cider House – 50% off Nachos. Expires 3/31/17
Enjoy your weekend fun!
Located right on the 45th parallel, this Northern Michigan winery has become a Leelanau Peninsula destination thanks to its variety of wine, casual atmosphere, and outgoing staff. 45 North has been able to capitalize off of its distinct location as the driving force behind its approach to crafting world-class wines that represent the West Michigan wine scene.
From when they first purchased the farm in 2006, to their first harvest in 2010, the winery has grown to be a favorite among others on the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. Based outside of Suttons Bay among the rolling hills of Leelanau Peninsula, owners Steve and Lori Grossnickle have turned their love for the area into a full vineyard-to-bottle operation. I appreciate the owners commitment to the land and their efforts to permanently protect their 100-acre farm with the Leelanau Conservancy.
45 North Vineyard and Winery has a great Northern Michigan vibe, and everyone in my family loved their visit. Their barn-like tasting room sits perfectly nestled in the woods and is accompanied nicely with their impressive rustic interior. Features such as: large beams, metal walls,and a stone fireplace all add to the experience by complimenting each of the wines just perfectly. You can even enjoy your taste from their horse saddle bar stools.
Bonobo Winery is decorated for the holidays, and it’s the perfect festive atmosphere to experience with your friends and family this holiday season. Bonobo is at the top of my list for must-visit wineries in Northern Michigan, and it’s not because of the celebrity name attached to it. With arguably the best view of West Bay on Old Mission Peninsula, Bonobo Winery provides everything you look for in a great winery; good wine, educational tastings, personable staff, and an inviting atmosphere.
Bonobo Winery is owned by Traverse City natives and brothers, Todd and Carter Oosterhouse. In the early stages of designing their winery, Todd and Carter had a goal of wanting to bring a sense of approachability to the Michigan wine scene, by creating the ultimate educational and enjoyable experience. Named after the bonobo ape, the owners found the description of the bonobo to be a perfect representation for the overall atmosphere of the winery. Bonobos have been known as the “make peace, not war” animals, and are very welcoming into the pack. Bonobo Winery sought out to be an inviting and comfortable wine tasting experience, encouraging guests to bring others together, much like the bonobo apes.
From the moment you step through the doors, big features will immediately catch your eyes. Bonobo’s impressive interior welcomes guests to enjoy themselves among their rustic elegance and trendsetting tasting room. With an oversized tasting room, cozy nooks, warm fireplaces, and an amazing deck, guests can feel comfortable to stay awhile. There’s no need to feel rushed through a tasting at Bonobo. They have provided the ultimate winery destination for one to not only do a tasting, but order a glass of wine or share a bottle, while snacking on a small plate curated by celebrity Chef, Mario Batali.
Other notable features among my favorites at Bonobo are their use of reclaimed wood collected by the owners over the years, and the chic chandeliers hanging above the tasting room, which were originally used in Carter and Amy’s wedding.
Wondering what wine to serve for Thanksgiving dinner? No worries, because I’ve got you covered! From red, to white, to sparkling, you’ll find a wine that will satisfy everyone at your table. Here’s a list of local wines that will pair well with your Thanksgiving meal, and won’t break the bank.