Visit Mari Vineyards: A Lakes and Grapes Winery Guide

Visit Mari Vineyards: A Lakes and Grapes Winery Guide

Visit Mari Vineyards: A Lakes and Grapes Winery Guide

Winery: Mari Vineyards

8175 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686

Mari Vineyards’ owner, Marty Lagina, is changing the way red wines are developed in Northern Michigan, and his risk of growing uncommon grapes in the Michigan climate is now paying off. With a well-groomed tasting room, seasoned winemaker, and a total of 50 acres (and growing), Mari Vineyards is making a name for themselves in Michigan’s wine country.

Lagina and his wife first planted 15 years ago, and summer of 2016 Mari Vineyards Winery and Tasting room came to life. Talked around town as the “Castle on the Hill,” Mari Vineyards will catch your eye the moment you see it.  It’s a beautifully assembled building, and will make anyone feel as if they just entered a castle in Italy. From their oversized wooden doors leading into their cavern, to their arches and high points, all the details come together nicely. There’s a photo backdrop around every corner.

While the winery has an Italian feel, it actually encompasses a lot of Michigan products and repurposed wood that the Lagina’s have collected over the years. There is a nice mixture of wood and stone used throughout the building to give it a rustic, yet Italian look in honor Lagina’s heritage.

Mari Vineyards

Mari Vineyards

Mari Vineyards

Mari Vineyards - Lakes and Grapes

Mari Vineyards - Lakes and Grapes

Mari Vineyards - Lakes and Grapes

Mari Vineyards - Lakes and Grapes

One unique element about the building is that it’s oriented perfectly to align with the summer solstice. The oculus directs light onto the center of an ornate compass on the floor of their cave. It’s a one-of a kind feature!

Mari Vineyards - Lakes and Grapes

The winery has a great outdoor seating area. A perfect setting to grab a glass…or a bottle to enjoy!

Mari Vineyards - Lakes and Grapes

Mari Vineyards - Lakes and Grapes

Mari Vineyards - Lakes and Grapes

One of my favorite features about the tasting room can be seen hanging above the tasting bar.  Artist Scott Gunderson custom made a 15,000 cork mural specifically for Mari Vineyards, and it’s truly an amazing piece of artwork.

Mari Vineyards - Lakes and Grapes

While the building is what draws people into the doors, the wine is what gets people to stay. The wines are complex with a lot of layers, and have great characteristics. Mari Vineyards is able to successfully grow such exotic grapes in Michigan by using the “Nellaserra technique.” In short-terms, the technique means that they are able to extend their growing season by temporarily putting a greenhouse over the vines in the Spring and Fall.  You can see an example of it here by heading over to their Facebook page. 

I’ve already been to the winery a handful of times since its opening, and each time is a great experience.  I highly suggest visiting, and finding out for yourself how Marty Lagina and Mari Vineyards are enhancing the wine scene in Northern Michigan!

Tip: If your looking to tour a winery in Northern Michigan, Mari Vineyards is a great choice, and for obvious reasons!

Favorite Sips:

Rosato

Praefectus

Ultima Thule

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Abby Clear

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